With all the information on networks, communities and social lately – it’s easy to get overwhelmed. During these times, I need nourishment. Yes, I’m the first to enjoy an order of sliders, but I often turn to research and thought leaders, which equally “hit the spot”. Which is why I’m personally finding it exciting to discuss the focus on the value in the networks – the value of the people, the value of potential, business outcomes and new futures we can create within them. For example, I’m a parent leader in the first ever Washoe County School District Elementary School Debate Club and honored to be a part of a smaller powerful community of children passionate about research, speech and debate. They will be our future leaders and it’s stimulating to watch them learn and grow. Yet in my professional life, I thrive when I’m motivated and learning, so I thought I’d share some recent research that I’ve found inspiring to me of late.
Etienne Wenger, Beverly Trayner and Maarten De Laat worked on relating to strategies for social learning. I found this paragraph relevant to my community weaver role as I develop charters and strategies often for networks; “Therefore we focus on the value that networks or communities create when they are used for social learning activities such as sharing information, tips and documents, learning from each other’s experience, helping each other with challenges, creating knowledge together, keeping up with the field, stimulating change, and offering new types of professional development opportunities.” It was inspiring to be reminded of the power of networks.
Thanks to John Maloney, who pointed me to the paper on “Beyond Metcalfe’s Law to the Power of Community Building” That Sneaky Exponential”, which I found powerful when David P. Reed describes “Group-Forming Networks (GFN)s because he states that “As digital networking brings scale and global reach to all aspects of our lives and activities, there will be many more ways that we’ll see scale driven value shifts that threaten established business networking patterns.” Changing healthcare, risk management and financial services are all examples he cites. Imagine the possibilities of cancer disease management!