O'Reilly logo

Governance Reimagined: Organizational Design, Risk, and Value Creation by David R. Koenig

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 5

The Enterprise and Those Who Influence its Value

At the top of a stone arch sits the most critical part of its structure, the keystone. Without this element, any shifting weight or pressure on the columns will cause them to collapse. However, with the keystone in place at the apex of the intersecting columns, the archway becomes one of the strongest and most enduring structures we know. This product of simple human engineering allows the shifting weight to be distributed down to the sturdy base, making it possible for the structure to be both resilient and strong.

Keystones exist in many other forms as well. We know that in nature certain species are critical to the health of their overall environment. The honeybee is one of those species, believed to be responsible for pollination of as much as 30 percent of food crops in the United States.1 The extinction of these particular insects could easily result in a catastrophic collapse of other species that depend on them for the successful cultivation of food. When the consequences of this kind of demise through the food chain would be substantial, the species is referred to as a keystone species.

Keystones, Value, and Systems

An archway and nature are both systems. The value of a keystone in any system is a function of the value of the overall system to which it belongs. Taken as a stand-alone, a keystone may have only modest value. But, as part of a system of interacting elements, especially when that system interacts ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required