Five Network Laws for New Business Leaders…
In this new reality organizations need to adapt to the laws of the network.
Why? Because our information economy is being subsumed into the network economy; because we now live in the network.
1. Send is Receive
In the network each node is a sensor capable of receiving and processing information in real time. If every business unit in your company isn’t listening (to each other – to the outside world) it isn’t learning at the same rate as its competition. (see Listening beats Talking).
2. Small is Big
In the network all things begin small (the individual, the faint signal, the single message) and roll up through collective action (the viral pass along, the “Digg“) into a swarm of biblical proportion (Obama’s donor list of 13 million). If you don’t understand this Network Law — you are in trouble. And, If you can’t build reach into this world – you will soon be in a world of hurt.
3. Hard is Soft
In the network “soft” power is the power that persuades. It is a power of influence and attraction, and a call to leadership to the swarm. If you are still issuing decrees from on-high you are going to find yourself increasingly ineffective in the as a business leader.
4. Vertical is Horizontal
The network is rhizomatic in it’s growth and structure; flat and situational. Hierarchy and information flow is still important – it’s just that it now flows in all directions. Each business unit needs to be more rhizomatic, and promiscuous in its connectivity with other units (see also, Moments of Truth: We Are All Marketers Now).
5. The Center is the Edge
“No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else” — Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems
Where in the old world, the center of power and influence, of productivity and expertise emanated from within the walls of the organization, in the world of networked relationships these properties are in more abundance at the edge. (see Open beats Closed). Companies that work the edge win.