I’ve been reading Andrew McAfee’s blog for a while now and find it very interesting. A recent blog entry – "How to Hit the Enterprise2.0 Bullseye", addressed the ties of a prototypical knowledge worker. It reminded me about my thoughts regarding Spheres of Influences, that is the ability I have through the people I know either as friends, work colleagues, associates etc to influence decision making. This is also true of course, the other way as well.
In my home town of Adelaide in South Australia, our business community is really made up of a large number of small companies that work in a micro economy. Thus we probably have a larger concentration of Weak or Potential ties then say persons in the United States. Through necessity we are constantly forming new groups to do business to solve new problems. It may be also that we have a more rapid movement as well of people moving between having strong ties, weak ties and potential ties (who hasn’t had someone ring them for a job after not hearing from them for a few years?)
On one of Andrew’s previous blog entries, I noticed a mention of a book regarding the Future of Work, written by Thomas W. Malone. I went to Amazon and purchased it (plus a lot of other books, when I was there as well – got to stop doing that 😉 ). In this book, there was strong reference to moving from command-and-control type structures to Coordinate-and-Cultivate.
To me, it seems having that ability and trust with strong, weak and maybe even potential ties as spheres of influences is critical to establishing a Coordinate-and-Cultivate type attitude that can lead to a network effect through a market. Do my blog entries help with this? I hope so.