Home Hospitality Industry Literature Industry Literature: Connected by Design, by Barry Wacksman and Chris Stutzman

Industry Literature: Connected by Design, by Barry Wacksman and Chris Stutzman


Every so often you hear amongst all the senseless jargon of business, a concept that actually strikes itself as uniquely interesting. As you can tell from the cover of Connected by Design, the explicit intention of the authors is perhaps to drive home the concept of “functional integration” through this book. What I found most intriguing, however, was the noun they keep using to describe the results of a functionally integrated brand. They refer to these brands as having created “ecosystems”.

I’ve always said that the events business is the business of creating value from human gatherings. In order to do that, event professionals need to mindfully create deliberate environments that can drive home a certain message, or deliver a certain result for the attendees. The word “ecosystem” strikes my fancy as a word that I would say share the same relationship with “environment” as, say… the word “engagement” shares with “broadcast”. It’s a term more inclusively descriptive of the active impacts than its passive counterpart. An ecosystem takes into consideration the relationships of those that share an environment. It considers how those relationships are formed, how each unique relationship influences all the others in the same ecosystem. It’s an interesting idea to chew on in the consideration of creating an event.

Connected by Design is of course, not an event management book at all from a genre perspective. It’s a business book that does incredibly well to give visual context as to what the world’s most powerful consumer facing companies today look like. If I were to retitle the book to my own whims, I might even call this book “What an Empire Looks Like in the 21st Century”. Because that’s really what this book is about. How the people of today’s world get influenced, and how the most successful organizations in the world today achieve influence. Functional integration, creating ecosystems of value, the importance of engagement over broadcasting, having the right kind of leadership, and other concepts derived from studying some of the most influential consumer companies today like Apple and Google.

See you at the next exploration!



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