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Network Thinking (Part 2)

Second video on Network Thinking.
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<v Speaker 1>There are some really important roles in <v Speaker 1>networks and one is that of the Hub. This is the nucleus that helps hold that network together. Another is the Boundary Spanner. Most of us are members of multiple networks and when two previously unconnected networks are able to connect through us that makes us a Boundary Spanner. For instance about 20 or so years ago I became interested in the local food movement that was starting to take hold in some parts of the US. Now this was not something many people in my home state of Indiana were talking about.
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As it turned out I was uniquely positioned as a Boundary Spanner because I was tapped into a statewide network of farmers. But I also knew a lot of chefs and owners of locally owned restaurants in the state. I was able to bring these two networks together to begin having conversations about what the local food movement might look like in Indiana. An important part of a more agile approach to strategy is the spanning of boundaries to see what new shared value might be created when two previously unconnected networks become connected.
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Another aspect of networks is this they typically had very solid cores but porous boundaries the solid core gives the network stability and the porous boundaries allow new members to come in and also an easy exit for members to leave when the network is no longer needed. Here are our S-Curves again. We can design networks using assets from the first S-Curve to connect us to opportunities on the second S-Curve. Now networks turn neoclassical economics on its head. We’ve been taught for a long time about the laws of diminishing returns. Networks seem to be able to produce increasing returns over time.
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That is why network based businesses like Facebook, Uber, and airbnb were able to create so much market value in such a short time. We are also learning that connection seems to correlate with economic growth this study found that the most connected regions in the U.S. as compared by how well connected are regions LinkedIn members are to one another more densely connected networks have the highest job growth now. Understanding these characteristics of networks will help you increase your capacity to be a Network Thinker and strengthen your strategies.
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Next you’re going to have a chance to reflect on these characteristics and then consider how you might apply Network Thinking to address a problem or an opportunity that’s important to you and your community or your organization. See you soon.
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Introduction to Strategic Doing: An Agile Approach to Strategy

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