John Hagel, the noted business writer and management consultant argues in his recently released “Shift Index” that we’re in the midst of “The Big Shift.” We are shifting from a world where the key source of strategic advantage was in protecting and extracting value from a given set of knowledge stocks — the sum total of what we know at any point in time, which is now depreciating at an accelerating pace — into a world in which the focus of value creation is effective participation in knowledge flows, which are constantly being renewed.
“Finding ways to connect with people and institutions possessing new knowledge becomes increasingly important,” says Hagel. “Since there are far more smart people outside any one organization than inside.” And in today’s flat world, you can now access them all. Therefore, the more your company or country can connect with relevant and diverse sources to create new knowledge, the more it will thrive. And if you don’t, others will.
One of the major drivers for social business is aggressively forging new relationships between people within the business and highly knowledgeable people outside the business. This increases the ability of the business to work and take effective action because these relationships extend the intelligence and thinking of the company.
It's not that the people within the business are consuming information outsiders produce. That social media-oriented, information-based viewpoint misses the point by looking at the situation too simplistically.
By creating more relationships -- even those based on weak ties -- the social business increases its IQ.
The people you are connected to help you by thinking about your problems, responding with advice and other connections, and amplifying what you do or think. And you are doing the same for them.
This is what I mean when I say 'I am made greater by the sum of my connections, and so are my connections.'