Read this article in Fast Company today.
Cisco's business model is fascinating. From what I can tell they have created these groups and councils that will have the authority to make decisions about new products, services, businesses, etc. without having to get approval from the c-suite. It has worked so far, especially in speed to market with new products. They also have expanded their definition of who they are (which in the long run may or may not be a good thing) to more consulting oriented offerings that connect more to their business model than to their technology offerings. Can the firm known for offering the plumbing supplies of the internet add leadership/management consulting to the mix successfully? I'm not so sure. IBM did a pretty good job at this but in the end they transitioned to become more consultant than technology producer. Time will tell. Having $26 billion to play with doesn't hurt their chances... or does it?