I was sitting in a web analytics meeting recently. It was very professional, informative, and interesting. The strategy is very relevant to what the client is doing on the web, and the new information the project can generate makes sound business sense.

But I cannot help thinking how this is a great example of how people are subsumed into serving the (perfectly logical and rational) needs of systems and procedures that may not be directly related to the creation of value or the core propositions of the business.

Maybe this is simply an unavoidable reality of large corporations. Is it good for people in a business to be removed from direct participation in, or even remote awareness of its value creation core?

That’s a roundabout way to come to my thought for this blog post – is it possible to make businesses, no matter the size, simpler? Simpler to encapsulate conceptually, simpler to “feel”, simpler to operate. More immediacy, more realness – in how a business connect to people, link its value creation activities, and respond to change?

Part of the challenge is the obsession with numerical measurability, and the curse of quarterly/monthly/weekly financial (and other numerical) measurements.

I am not saying numbers are evil and must be dispensed with. I am saying the tyranny of numbers in business needs to be tempered. Because numbers by their nature only reflect the past, what has been. Any yet, we all know we live in a world which can change dramatically in a few months or a year.

Is there more recognition and appreciation for the value of gut feel? How fast can an organisation move if it has to constantly wait for numbers? How visionary can it be if all it does is look backwards at the figures that were?

Are the lessons from small business that large corporations can learn? Lessons on agility and responsiveness?