The difference between a network and community is a culture of collaboration. Collaboration doesn’t just happen. It is grown through the action of leaders.
Markets are Value Networks
The markets we use when we exchange financial value today are networks. Networks of connected agents exchange value in our stock exchanges, banks and risk markets. These networks did not arise simply because people connected. Financial markets are facilitated by practices that help transform connection into valuable interactions.
When the networks of merchants in coffee houses became stock exchanges, they relied on the role of brokers and market makers to help build a valuable marketplace. These roles helped people:
- to build trust in the new market,
- to create liquidity that enabled activity when demand and supply from participants was not perfectly matched,
- to share information,
- to develop new ways of working
- to help the new markets to enforce the rules and standards of the exchange.
The same leadership work to build value, trust and new ways of working is found in the history of banking, insurance or other exchanges.
The value created in these networks did not occur because the network existed. It occurred because of the work of people to build a collaborative culture in the network. People need to build a sense of how to use these new exchanges and to build trust in that they would deliver more value than risk.
Your Network Needs Market Makers
Any collaborative network will need leaders to help facilitate the creation of value in the network. This leadership will be a combination of technical support from community managers and change leadership support from change champions in the organisation and the organisation’s senior management.
The Value Maturity Model highlights the way that collaboration’s market makers need to work to facilitate the value creation in your network:
- Connecting relevant people to the network and into groups
- Sharing information that may not have reached its necessary audience
- Helping to solve issues by matching needs and capabilities, finding other resources or information and even holding a problem or information until there is a match of demand or supply.
- Providing the systems and support to enable innovation experiments to be fostered until they are proven or fail.
- Experiment and lead adoption of new ways of working
- Helping lead the change in the culture of the organisation to allow the development of further cultural change.
To maximise the value of the networks in your organisation, you will need to develop the leadership capabilities that can take advantage of networks.
If you would like to create greater value in your enterprise social network or discuss how the Value Maturity Model applies to assist your organisation to create strategic value, please get in contact. I am available through @simongterry or Linkedin or www.simonterry.com