November 20, 2010
social networking

My Network is my Net Worth: A Personal Story

The new cultural trinity that I somewhat incessantly write and speak about combines a new leadership framework for all levels of people, Enterprise 2.0 thinking and Learning 2.0 logic.

Through the combination of being more open, transparent, connected and collaborative, one is employing the premise of said leadership framework, whilst utilizing Enterprise 2.0 (and perhaps Web 2.0) technologies to achieve an environment whereby we consume knowledge and contribute back competence to the ‘grid’. (aka Learning 2.0)

The grid?

It’s our network.

It’s the personal and professional people we associate with.

It’s the direct and indirect relationships that help us navigate this world.

It’s the strong, weak and potential ties that assist our comprehension of right, wrong and new.

How has the grid assisted me personally and how have I been able to give back? How have I demonstrated a new leadership framework while utilizing Enterprise 2.0 and Learning 2.0 modalities?

Example #1

At my current place of employment, a colleague that I didn’t really know reached out directly and asked if I wouldn’t mind chatting with his wife to discuss career change opportunities in the learning space. My motto in life has always been a slice of “pay it forward” coupled with a dash of “quid pro quo” mashed with “the glass is half full” topped by “yes, I’ve got time”. So, after saying ‘yes’ to the request of my unknown colleague, he had this to say:

In the past few weeks I’ve actually done a lot of reading of your previous posts. I have spent most of my career managing some of the technology (or leading the people managing the technology) behind enterprise collaboration, from LAN in the early days, to IP-Telephony and then Unified Communications. But until coming across your blog, and those of your peer group, I never really explored the world of how the enterprise was actually making use of that technology—to me, it was just a bunch of features we were providing. So it’s been an eye-opening and fascinating experience, to say the least. Learning 2.0 in action, I suppose!

Now I blog, micro-blog and submit all sorts of other learning content via videos, webinars, live chats, speaking engagements, etc. at my place of work … but this chap was viewing my external writing and it’s here that helped him make an unbelievable connection.

The connection was three-fold in my opinion; he employed a new leadership framework by unlearning his previous habits and became more connected, collaborative and transparent. In turn, he utilized Enterprise 2.0 technologies to help him cross the chasm, all the while employing Learning 2.0 in action, as he states. That is one cool example that demonstrates through my own writing and thoughts, someone else is gaining, learning, and in turn, helping others to understand the knowledge and insight elsewhere.

Example #2

A couple of years ago I sent a LinkedIn request to Jon Husband, architect of Wirearchy. We hadn’t ever met before despite living in the same city, but through some of his writing and online thoughts, it was evident to me we had a fair bit intellectually (or at least philosophically) in common.

You might guess what happened next, right?

Somewhat surprisingly, Jon denied the LinkedIn request stating he didn’t know me. Ever the ‘glass is half full’ character (and an energetic Myers Briggs ENTJ – despite Dave Snowden’s disdain for the model itself) I was relentless. After roughly a week, I resent the request to Jon, this time indicating to him I was surprised he denied the request as it kind of flies in the face of wirearchy itself.

“Touché, and point taken” said Jon.

So, he and I met over a coffee and have done so a few times since. He has been fantastic. I’ve learned so much through our conversations, links that he sends my way, email/twitter banter, his writing, and his introduction to other people. Furthermore, Jon was so kind once to have leant me a book entitled McLuhan for Managers that I had to write a blog post regarding one of the principal models outlined in the book itself.

Some of the arenas Jon is involved in peaks my interest greatly but at this particular point in time, we haven’t exchanged a dime of commerce either way. It’s simply been an exchange of knowledge with me being the primary benefactor.

This exchange, however, doesn’t happen unless we both employ a new leadership framework, Enterprise 2.0 technologies and agree that Learning 2.0 is a way in which we can mutually learn from one another.

In Summary

My Network is indeed my Net Worth. I’ve been able to share my own thoughts through coaching, mentoring, blogging, speaking, whatever, and (hopefully) others are learning … and in turn, I’m learning, feeling good with my new leadership framework, and loving the Enterprise 2.0 technologies and processes of connecting and so on.

My Network is indeed my Net Worth because without Jon (and countless others) I’m not growing as a person.

Are you?

5 Replies to “My Network is my Net Worth: A Personal Story”

  1. Great post Dan. The “new leadership framework” is hard to execute, even when we know better and are working to establish it as a standard. Unlearning old habits will take a lot of reinforcement. In this regard, our network is not only our net worth, but our educational institution as well. May we all graduate with honors! 🙂

  2. I’ve often thought about this in the context of the global organization and employee network I am am member of. Spread across 48 different countries, the network is diverse and evolving, yet many (including myself) for a very long time felt isolated. We are a collection of thought leaders with unique skills, knowledge and experiences who did not really know one another! Enter Yammer. I got my invite about 3-4 weeks ago from a fellow colleague and have been very impressed with the level of collaboration NOW taking place within the network. I have met employees I did not know before and have benefited from timely information that helped me do my job. Learning and sharing with fellow colleagues within a social network should feel good. You should be encouraged to develop and expand your network in your organization. Often overlooked, organizational awareness is a key competency for leaders wanting to have to have impact and influence with those around them. Yammer is just one of many tools available to increase one’s competence in truly understanding the unspoken nuances hidden within the relationships that surround you. In using Yammer thus far, I would have to agree with you Dan – my net worth has risen.

  3. […] I’ve ever written — has come as a result of my network. I even wrote something entitled, ‘My Net Work Is My Net Worth‘ about five years ago. If a leader believes she is ‘acting’ like a leader while holed up in a […]

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