Gerhard Plenert earned his Ph.D. in Business Management from the Colorado School of Mines and is a Senior Principal at American Management Systems in Fair Oaks, California. He has taught at Brigham Young University and California State University, Chico.
The most important lesson of the eCommerce debacle: mid-size and large companies must move as fast as small firms. Despite the fluctuating fortunes of Yahoo! and amazon.com, the Internet and broadband communication have already changed the way business is done. The brief history of eCommerce demonstrates that the traditional militaristic, command-and-control model of managing a large company doesn't work anymore. And while small companies can adjust to this truth, it's a major challenge to mid-size and large firms. There is a solution to this challenge: a management model combining the needs of organizational structure with the speed and flexibility of the Internet mindset. To be successful, companies must consistently * compare eCommerce to traditional management * combine global reach with local focus * trust and delegate to people who will never meet