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Network Thinking (Part 1)

First Video on Network thinking
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Hello and welcome back. In this video we’ll be considering how network thinking can strengthen your strategy. Network thinking requires a different mindset than hierarchical thinking and it seems like the older a person is the more effort it takes to adopt a network mindset. My kids for instance are clearly at home in a networked world that is remarkably evident when I walk into the TV room to find them playing FIFA on the xbox with a virtual pickup team from all over the globe. Their teammates and opponents usually include their buddies from down the street as well as people on the other side of the world people they will never meet face to face with no hierarchy.
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Now networks have some remarkable qualities. Take these two graphics. Each of them has 10 red dots as nodes but in the one on top that looks like the typical org chart. There are a total of only nine connections but in the bottom graphic there are dots arranged in a circle and the number of connections are five times of that in the pyramid. In a network both the nodes and the connections are valuable. Another quality of a network is that it has no top or bottom. Sometimes people will confuse bottom up thinking with network thinking. It’s not the same thing bottom up thinking is still hierarchical thinking it’s just looking at that hierarchy from the bottom rather than from the top.
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A network has no top and no bottom. Now let’s consider three different kinds of networks all networks are not created equally. Most of us are members of some sort of Advocacy Network. Now I’m recording this video in Indiana just a little bit after race week that’s the Indy 500 was ran just a few days ago and a group of people all cheering for the same race car driver is an example of well an Advocacy Network. Note that blue Trust line the bottom of the graphic. It does not really take on a whole lot of mutual trust to poll for the same driver. Next however is a Learning Network. Most of us are part of one or more Learning Networks.
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A professional association is a good example of a Learning Network. Learning effectively together might require a little bit more trust. For example you would have to have some level of trust in me to let you know what you might have missed when you had to step out of a seminar to make a quick phone call. The third kind of network is an Innovating Network. These are the kinds of networks that can help strengthen strategy. Innovating Networks are able to create value that is greater than the sum of its parts.
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