Visionscapers.net – the upcoming independents & organizing for innovation in a networked economy
Visionscapers.net – the upcoming independents &organizing for innovation in a networked economyMarch 4th, 2011Freddy SnijderThis paper first appeared as a blog post on Visionscapers.net (bit.ly/f6XpWq)This whitepaper summarizes Post sectionsthe key points of my • Visionscapers.net in a nutshellpresentation during the • Networked mindset for 21st century innovationsVisionscapers.net beta launch • The power of diversityworkshop held on the first of • Combining the best of the 20th and 21st centuryDecember 2010. It was an • Visionscapers.net as a social innovation • Our real-life network foundationinspiring event celebrating that • Our online network foundationfrom now on we are • Bringing it all together: Visionscapers.netdeveloping and further • Your feedback (comments)growing our ‘offline’ and onlineorganization in public. Multipleother Visionscapers (this is how we call ourselves as partner members of theVisionscapers.net network) also presented during this event. The overarchingtheme was our increasingly networked world and its effect on how we work,organize, innovate, and on our lives in general.Inspiring : Impressions of the Visionscapers.net Betalaunch held on the 1st ofDecember 2010
In my presentation (http://slidesha.re/lwU6eB) I introduced Visionscapers.netas a networked innovation company and what trends and thinking werefundamental to its development.Visionscapers.net in a nutshellVisionscapers.net is a networked company consisting of independentprofessionals and small companies who can team up to help realize product,service or organizational innovation: innovations that leverages thepossibilities and opportunities of our networked society.Visionscapers.net combines the best of 20th and 21st century organizations tosimultaneously benefit our clients and ourselves, the Visionscapers. I willexplain this in further detail later in this post.Providing a networked economy mindset for innovations in the 21stcenturyOne pillar Visionscapers.net is founded on is the trend of our society becomingincreasingly networked. This trend is mostly driven by the ubiquitousavailability of the Internet and the social technologies build on top of it (thinkFacebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging platforms such as WordPress).Watercanon fight Flashmob organized by participants using Facebook (Photo byDuncan Rawlinson (thelastminute) on Flickr.com, Creative Commons License)
It empowers any individual to discuss, organize & collaborate on a scale andwith ease not seen before. This new empowerment leads to new opportunitiesto create new sustainable value for consumers and companies. It enablesindividuals and companies to organize in new ways, allowing much moreefficient & effective innovation and value creation in general.As Visionscapers.net we are a living example of how individuals andcompanies can organize in a new way. Other than traditional organizations, wedon’t have a strong hierarchical structure. We are all equal peers, with equalinfluence and responsibility to make our networked innovation company asuccess. This might sound like a burden, but the truth is that being trusted andworking together as equal peers, and being able to shape and grow acompany together is highly motivational to us all.Being a networked organization we practice what we preach on a daily basis.The networked economy mindset that is native to us, and which we furthergrow through our experiences as a networked innovation company, enables usto help companies: • Develop sustainable innovations for the 21st century • Transform existing products and services to strong propositions for the future • Improve innovation productivity by guiding the organization to start working as a network and benefit from the opportunities to co-create with end-users and other product & service stakeholdersNext to large projects, as a network we can also organize ‘pressure cooker’sessions to help create new ideas and solutions.The power of diversityAnother pillar Visionscapers.net is founded on is the importance of diversity indeveloping successful innovations. Diversity keeps us sharp, and our ideasfresh. It also enables a multi-disciplinary approach, allowing for synergiesbetween different aspects to be created. This is key to successful innovationdevelopment.The iPhone of Apple is a well known and prototypical example of an innovationthat is full of synergies between aspects rooted in different disciplines. Forinstance, it combines form & interaction design, with the appropriatetechnology (e.g. multi-touch screens and APIs for Apps) and a business modelthat helps increase and sustain the use of this phone (App store with agrowing community of developers). The interactions & synergies betweendifferent disciplines is actually much more complex and intricate for theiPhone, but I hope you get my point why a multi-disciplinary approach toinnovation is of such importance.
With respect to Visionscapers.net, to illustrate our diversity, there are partnersin the network with, for instance, a background in product design, userresearch, technology development (including (web) software development),co-creation, project management and marketing. You can navigate thenetwork to learn more about who are in the Visionscapers.net network.Combining the best of the 20th and 21st centuryCombining the advantages of large ‘traditional’ companies and that ofnetworks of ‘independents’ is the third pillar on which Visionscapers.net as anetworked organization is founded.Large traditional companies have scale and ‘name in the market’ (brand).While a network of independents have the advantages of autonomy, passionfor high-quality results, efficiency, agility and flexibility. Bringing the best ofthese two worlds together in Visionscapers.net benefits us Visionscapers andour clients simultaneously.We are able to combine the best of both by strengthening the bonds in our‘real-life’ network, creating a shared online identity and making our internalorganization more effective by using online tools. This is explained further inthe sections on Our real-life network foundation and Our online networkfoundation.Visionscapers.net as a social innovationThe number of independent professionals and small companies is growing. Istrongly believe that the new possibilities and power that the Internet providesto individuals significantly influences this growth and will continue to do so inthe future. The Internet, and different social technologies built on top of it, donot only empower people to communicate and organize on a scale notpossible before, it also allows them to be more flexible in how they set-up andlive their daily lives.Many people start their own company, alone or with a few partners, becausethey are passionate about what they do, whether it is e.g. product design, webservice development or marketing. A fourth founding pillar of Visionscapers.netis the idea to create an organizational structure that allow independents to: • Stay independent and to work on the topics they are passionate about • Have the same benefits of scale and brand large, traditional, companies enjoyThis all in a way that also significantly benefits our future clients. I will get backto this in the last section of this post where I bring together all resultingbenefits.
Our real-life network foundationCreating and growing or sustaining a networked organization of independentprofessionals is not simply a matter of giving any new network member ausername and password for an online network. I wish it would be that easy!The challenge is that ‘just a network account’ will not result in the strong bondsbetween the network members that are needed. Network members needs tohave strong bonds: to be able to invite each other to work together, to actuallybe comfortable working together, to find synergies, to enable cross-fertilizationof ideas and for new initiatives to spontaneously emerge.So, to continuously facilitate the development of our real-life network wefrequently organize offline meetings (every +/- 3 weeks). These meetings allowus to get to know each other better, provide input and direction to thecontinuous development of Visionscapers.net as a company, discuss newopportunities face-to-face, share ideas, gain new insights and get freshperspectives on relevant topics. The meetings are always very energetic andinspirational; you can find some great photos in our Visionscapers.net events& workshops group on Flickr.In what directions we grow as a network and as a company, how we operateon a daily basis and what we stand for is defined in continuous collaborationswith the network members: it is a networked company for, and of, theVisionscapers.
Us, Visionscapers, at the 6th Visionscapers.net meeting in Amsterdam
Our online network foundationHaving stressed the importance of building a real life network through frequentmeet ups, it’s good to introduce our online network, which plays an importantrole in the Visionscapers.net organization as well.It consists of two parts: the internal visionscapers.net network and our publicblog network. The internal network can be seen as the ‘inside’ of the company.It is where we discuss anything that relates to the strategy, marketing, newbusiness development and daily operations of Visionscapers.net.Our blog network on the other hand is public and is our ‘united face’ to theoutside world. Although the individual blogs are focused on our individualidentities, the combination of the content we write and the interactions wemake through the blogs will help define our combined identity. This results in ashared brand, together with the work we actually will do together asVisionscapers.net of course.Through our Visionscapers.net blogs all the Visionscapers are actually on theedge of the network: we are all a connection point to the outside world. Wedon’t have a PR department, a marketing & sales department or anydepartment XYZ that handles contact with the outside world like traditionalcompanies do. If a visitor to our site is on the blog of e.g. Jan Heemskerk andhas a question, he or she can e-mail or call him, even if it doesn’t directlyrelate to his work. He could subsequently answer the question himself directlyor ask other Visionscapers to help out.This implies that every Visionscaper represents the network and the networkrepresents every Visionscaper. In short : ‘You are the network, the network isyou’!
All Visionscapers.net partners are at the network boundary, as a point ofcontact to the outside world. The general Visionscapers.net contact info arearefers to the e-mail address of the specific partner you are currently visiting.Bringing it all together: Visionscapers.netVisionscapers.net – the networked innovation company – is an organizationalinnovation that benefits the network members as well as our future clients: • We provide one entrée to a fragmented market of independent professionals that can help our clients realize innovations • We provide a diverse set of disciplines, skills and services making us uniquely positioned to help clients realize innovations – from vision to success • Our diversity keeps our innovation power sharp & fresh and enables us to bridge disciplines. In our network we deepen our insight into different areas of expertise together • As independents we provide high quality through our passion for what we do • We are cost efficient, agile and flexible • Together we are an innovation powerhouse that is able to accept and complete much bigger projects than we could on our own, and are able to build a shared brand that is much bigger than our own individual brands.
Your feedback and input is very much appreciatedIf reading this post left you with questions, or it inspired you in some way,please do not hesitate to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail!Thank you for sharing and listening,Freddy SnijderFounder and managing director of Visionscapers.netContact.firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: 20th century, 21st century, agileness, betalaunch, blogs, branding, co-creation, collective, diversity, efficiency, hierarchy, independent professionals,innovation, innovation productivity, innovation services, market fragmentation,mindset, multi-disciplinairy, network bonds, networked ecomony, networkedorganization, organization, passion in work, presentation, pressure cooker,proposition development, sharing, SME, social innovation, social technology,summary, trends, Visionscapers.net