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The Craft of Connection

The Craft of Connection (via elearningpost): “Despite the huge potential returns, few managers adequately invest in developing these kinds of networks and deliberately designing them to foster measurable business results. One reason for this is the misperception that networks, which are essentially self-governing communities, draw their energy from common enthusiasms and a shared sense of purpose and thus cannot be managed. Furthermore, some academics argue that communities of practice are emergent systems that must be allowed to form and evolve without direction.”
I certainly agree with the value of networks and ecologies…but from my experience, most communities/networks/ecologies (especially those with a defined purpose) require some type of guidance and direction. The challenge of “clear aims through decentralized means” often benefits from some direction (the real question, however, is where we put our design efforts – on achieving the outcome, or on designing the space in which we expect the outcome to occur. My view is that we should be focused on the latter…).