Developing a Community Networking Strategy – Steps to Take


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Business of Community Networking Conference Workshop, Boston March 24, 2009

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  • Thank you for joining our Developing a Community Networking Strategy- Steps to Take Workshop“We’re Victoria Axelrod and Jenny Ambrozek. Our profiles on the BOCN web site and we’re going to assume you’ve read them. Suffice to say together we have decades experience helping organizations adapt to changing worlds and creating and implementing new technologies. Today our focus is helping you create or revitalize your community online or network projects and challenges by bringing to their development a fresh, people network lens.
  • We don’t plan to talk at you about building networks but rather help you progress your projects by doing.The 3 exercises listed here:            Personal Network Drawing           Business Challenge Case, and           Core Stakeholder Process at Workwill let you experience bringing a people network lens to bear on your online or network projects and how they relate to the overall business strategy.
  • We will be reinforcing these three themes as we do all the exercises.
  • I’ll further assume that we’re all familiar with McAfee describing the significance of Enterprise 2.0 in terms of 5 elements with the convenient acronym SLATES:Search Links Authoring Tags Extensions and Signals. E2.0 although much debated is an organizational game changer.
  • We find that business leaders still do not fundamentally understand that web 2.0 is a paradigm shift in the way business is conducted. Their teenage kids get it, their Gen Y employees get it.We can explain, define and talk about web 2.0 but nothing replaces experiencing an interactive process for an ah ha! We are social. We interact, therefore we are. The web enables our interaction.
  • .. And extended by Harvard professor Andrew McAfee to the application of these tools in, and between enterprise.Emergent means that the software is freeform, and that it contains mechanisms to let the patterns and structure inherent in people’s interactions become visible over time.Freeform means that the software is most or all of the following:Optional Free of up-front workflow Egalitarian, or indifferent to formal organizational identities Accepting of many types of data
  • And more recently Dion Hinchcliffe the Enterprise 2.0 developer and ZDNet blogger with whom I imagine everyone is familiar, yes? No? extended McAfee’s SLATES to FLATNESSES to focus on both the social, emergent, freeform and egalitarian dimensions of these tools and their impact on organizations.
  • To close this backdrop I just wanted to make a couple of observations about how I see low cost Web 2.0 tools impacting organizations and that is in the levels of participation required to ensure successful adoption.Is everybody familiar with SocialText founder Ross Mayfield’s Power Law of Participation?To my knowledge the Law is not validated but it jibes with my experience and is helpful in focusing attention on the levels of user participation needed to make any collaboration tool work.
  • JA With that backdrop I want to turn to Victoria to lead the discussion about harnessing collective intelligence to create business value, and the people networks you need to build to be successful.VGA: So if we assume YOUR definitions O’Reilly’s and McAfee’s that What defines Web 2.0 Enterprise 2.0 is the extended reach they enable and ability to cost effectively assemble and tap the crowd – how do we know we have the best minds assembled. It is our premise that we need to reach beyond the obvious networks. How do you intentionally reach stakeholder networks to get the best roi?
  • We can take a page from the success of Mozilla, redesigning their website. They have asked for ideas suggestions from their community. Who might they miss that they would want to hear from? How do they make the network visible to see who they have and who is missing. We know reaching to the edge of networks has the most potential for innovation.
  • And it’s our experience that the most effective way to create successful communities or online networks and sustainable businesses around them, is also by reaching out and connecting intelligence, intentionally mapping a network.We’ll give you a very brief intro to organizational network analysis which has been around since1930 with Moreno’s first sociogram- 7 decades. And stakeholder engagement best practices.
  • In spite of the benefits, online networks or communities are not easy to launch or keep alive and active.As Ryan Carson, founder of the Future of Web Applicatiions puts it “Building a thriving community around your company/app/service is f’ing hard work. It takes hard work, preparation, experience and persistance. It will not be right from the start. What is? Making it right is your goal.
  • March of Dimes got it right after much hard work. Every Baby has a story. How they perform on Alexa. Touch Graph – how many links and to whom. Which leads us to a deeper dive into helping you undrstand how you can use network analysis to reveal stakeholders.
  • Please take a couple of moments to jot down your challenges and be prepared to share. Let’s keep these to the size of the 3 x 5 Post it note on the tables. Who wants to start?
  • How does bringing a network lens help?Let’s find out?Anyone seen this slide before in a presentation? (Yes. Simon Wardley who provided it.)SIMON SEES DUCKSIs it fair to say everybody in the room is concerned with online community and business in the Web 2.0 Enterprise 2.0 space but each is looking with a unique perspective, like seeing something different in this pond?Your business and organization is operating in an ecosystem of partner and competing organizations and an economic ecosystem that you need to navigate to be successful,
  • To support your online community and business, there is a complex web of elements, not always visible, like the food web supporting the ducks in the pond.
  • And complex organizations that must work effectively together to support new business development.
  • ..An organization operating in a complex ecosystem including partners, suppliers, competitors and an economic backdrop all of which impact success.
  • Here are some examples. What we’re trying to do is encourage you to think beyond your project to pay more deliberate attention to the larger system in which you work so you can both leverage and manage within it. Overlay of digital network.
  • And as context for thinking about online community I’d also like to include this Ah Ha that Victoria and another colleague and I had writing an article a 2007 article in a conversation with Nancy White whom some of you might know?That is while you are all focused on creating online communities and building businesses around them you have to keep in mind that for your customers that it is in space between tools where interesting things, conversations and value are created.
  • If you need further evidence for your clients or internal business partners just look at where the iPhone is going. E2.0 is mobile.
  • And what we’re assuming is that the tools you are building whether you call them Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0., by bringing people together will create network capital value.And furthermore in doing so they will change the organizations in which they are used.
  • Cases given insights into complexity of networks.How do we put that information to work to enhance business value.Start with how to think about an organization
  • Organizational challenge is figuring the balnce of hierarchical control and emergent, cikkabiratuin to drive innovation and organizational effectiveness.Data speeds & technology keep on pushing on the structure. As “social technology” – all of the social websites and social software access and technologies increases direct control diminishes. Other processes do come into play to prevent the “dark side” of open systems from becoming corrupted.Processes such as moderation, as in wikipedia where a core group keeps track of the pages and the emerging patterns of interaction. The visualization of wikipages research impacts are the leadership role changes then to one of facilitation of interaction, enabling information flow, moderation of interactions, setting of principles for interaction, etc. This now links with the PowerLaw of Participation slide.Social Technology creates a diffuse core not central bounded nextwork. So issues of power and control need to be redefined. Some of the recent research is looking into the network dynamics – the emerging formulas for success, prediction and shaping of successful network structures. SearchLinksAuthoringTagsExtensionsSignalsEnterprise 2.0 Technology components~ Andrew McAfee,
  • Enterprise 2.0 – a new language
  • CORE is a 2.5 day network based process to systemically resolve business challenges or identify new opportunities for growth.
  • Here are some ideas that help me in putting networks to work in organizations.You’ve been at the conference. You will go back to the day-to-day and be back in the weeds as Victoria is prone to say.Some ideas to keep out of the weeds as you go about your work.
  • Developing a Community Networking Strategy – Steps to Take

    1. 1. Developing a Community Networking Strategy – Steps to Take Victoria G. Axelrod & Jenny Ambrozek Business of Community Networking, Boston 1 Graphic source March 25, 2009
    2. 2. AGENDA 1. Overview & Introductions 2. A Networked Organizations Mindset 3. Personal Network Drawing & Discussion 4. Business Challenge Case 5. Break 6. The CORE Stakeholder Process at work addressing your business challenge
    3. 3. KEY THEMES 1. Organizations are complex networks 2. Analysis tools allow visualizing networks so they can be intentionally worked 3. Ongoing development of tools & technologies continually reshaping how business gets done
    4. 4. Technology Nips at Organizations Heels S earch L inks A uthoring T ags E xtensions S ignals Enterprise 2.0 Technology components ~Andrew Slates McAfee, 4
    5. 5. Web 2.0 ” the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (This is what I've elsewhere called quot;harnessing collective intelligence.quot;) ~ Tim O’Reilly, Radar blog 12/10/06
    6. 6. Enterprise 2.0- Andrew McAfee 1. MIT Sloan Review Spring 2006: “Dawn of Emergent Collaboration” 2. Version 2.0 May 27 2006- earlier definition of Enterprise 2.0, “Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.” Wikis Blogs Social Networking Software Prediction Markets RSS Links Tags2.
    7. 7. Dion Hinchcliffe The State of Enterprise 2.0 October 22nd, 2007 ZDNet Blog “… so I’ve added these. I know SLATES is supposed to be capability based but it also needs to convey the intended outcomes clearly, and social capability in particular is missing.” ~ Dion Hinchcliffe 7
    8. 8. Participation is Individual & Complex Facilitators Roles High Engagement Low Engagement Adapted from Ross Mayfield April 2006 Attention Connection Participation Contribution
    9. 9. Harnessing Collective Intelligence ? Creating Business Value
    10. 10.
    11. 11. Network Road Map User/Audience Marketing Investors/ Development Team Sponsors Concept /Alliances Management Team
    12. 12. Network Benefits • Addresses business challenge of organization • Speeds up collaboration time • Improves success of project • Technique competitors will use • Documents known and unknown influencers, contacts and supporters • Reveals degree of influence • Creates a more open system • Provides a look at your whole system • Establishes a more powerful group to convene.
    13. 13. Online Networks Ideal Reality
    14. 14. March of Dimes
    15. 15. Challenges Keeping You Up at Night?
    16. 16. Simon sees DUCKS But, CONSIDER the POND
    17. 17. More than the eye can see No food web. No ducks
    18. 18. Organizations as Complex Network Webs Value Networks Customer Co- Creation Partner Networks Knowledge Networks Supply Chains Industry Groups Innovation Communities of Practice High Performers Alumni Networks Business value created through interaction. Relationships build capital.
    19. 19. Ponds CONNECTED Watershed ECOSYSTEM
    20. 20. Architecting Participation 4. Using multiple tools created value From Ronald Burt (2000) we were aware of opportunities to create value around ‘structural holes’ in organisational networks. Hence we paid attention when it was suggested that it is ‘…the space between the tools where things happen’ (N. White 2007, pers. comm., 2 July). ~ Ambrozek, Axelrod & Mulliner 2007, Knowledge Tree STRUCTURAL HOLES and SPACE between the TOOLS
    21. 21. 15,000s Apps and Counting The Space Between -Where Networks create Value
    22. 22. Consumer Ecosystems define Brand “Brands aren’t defined by campaigns anymore, but by the consumer ecosystems we nurture to support them.” Mike Mendenhall, chief marketing officer, HP
    23. 23. Network Capital Value Containers Versus Links Conventional file directory trees confine information to a strict hierarchical organization and are incapable of expressing the multi- layered relationships that exist in the real world. Power of Association Associative information organization system-any piece of information can be linked to any other piece.
    24. 24. Personal Network Drawing Exercise Eric Edelstein Dave Duarte Francois Gossieaux Victoria Axelrod William Anderson Adam Ko Ray Cha Jenny Ambrozek Kimberly Samah Niki Lambropoulos Jenni Beattie
    25. 25. Sample Network Drawing Eric Edelstein Eric Edelstein Dave Duarte Dave Duarte Francois Gossieaux Francois Gossieaux Victoria Axelrod Victoria Axelrod William Anderson Adam Ko William Anderson Adam Kovitz Ray Cha Ray Cha Jenny Ambrozek Jenny Ambrozek Kimberly Samaha Kimberly Samah Niki Lambropoulos Niki Lambropoulos Jenni Beattie Jenni Beattie Facebook Groups in Business Investigation 2008 Before & After Network Map by Patti Anklam b
    26. 26. What have we learned so far? 1. Value is created through relationships and interactions. 2. How to put personal networks to work to address a business challenge 3. How considering the collection and intersection of personal networks reveals where social capital lies in an organization. 4. Network analysis can reveal the hidden patterns of relationships and opportunities. 5. What else????
    27. 27. HR IT FIN
    28. 28. The Organizational Challenge Direct control DECREASES Degree Enterprise systems Control Social Technology Social Networking Podcasting , Ethernet Web 1.0 Blogs Wikis Web 2.0 Tagging Web 3.0 Web 3.0 1973 1991 Search Links Authoring Tags Extensions Signals , Time as social technology INCREASES
    29. 29. =
    30. 30. ∞ net WORKing CORE™ Value Roadmap Past Present Emerging Future
    31. 31. net∞WORKing CORE™ for Stakeholder Engagement • Business Driver- What value are you trying to create? Define business challenge or strategic intent. • Stakeholder Network – Who do you need to bring together for the most productive result? Use ONA. • Survey – What questions might you want answered to resolve your business need? • Analyze survey findings. • Results – Visual network map. • Follow-up interviews to validate data. • Convene network to address business challenge and implement actions. Engaging Stakeholder Networks to Create Business Value
    32. 32. net∞WORK Thinking and Acting - 10 Dimensions 1. Organizations Function As Complex Network Webs 2. Work Gets Done Through Individual Networks 3. Knowledge Is Created Through Individual Interactions 4. Patterns Of Participation Impact Knowledge Flows 5. ONA Reveals Current Knowledge Flows And Individual's Roles 6. Network Maps Visualize Network Analysis 7. Network Analysis Provides New Measurement Tools ∞ 8. Knowledge Is In Net Working. Innovation Is The Result Of Action 9. Technologies Shape Work 10. Balance Intension and Control in support of the business strategy
    33. 33. Continuing the Conversation 21st Century Organization Blog Twitter Vaxelrod & SageNet Email Thank you