Looking at the stars from our bed in our hotel room, overlooking a starry sky and the Milky Way, and the `Plough or saucepan stars` discovery, we philosophized with the owner of a Bed & Breakfast in Dwingeloo in the Dutch province Drenthe last weekend:” It looks like your thoughts are more free if there is space in which you can take a look when there are no restrictions.
My mind jumped that night to trend watcher Josephine Green (she worked for Philips), who has an English father and Italian mother. I thought of her predictions that organizations especially will develop in the 21st century through horizontal connections, the power of networking and her view that the world seems more like a pancake. Flat, social with open ecosystems that run on access and sharing of knowledge, care and resources. No pyramids and hierarchical models, but self and social innovation through co-creation. Growth by trial and error. Networks will be more important than ever, inside and outside organizations.
The network community is increasingly taking shape in the field of technology through online platforms. The new generation now entering the labour market born in the mid-nineties, is growing up in “virtual” social networks. Technology offers opportunities for new online platforms and business models. Entrepreneurs of start-ups wish to discover themselves, to experiment. Because people can adapt more quickly to new opportunities than organizations themselves can, business models are being turned upside down.
Networking innovation is advanced. Choosing between online and offline is not required – both are necessary. Face to face meetings within networks remain essential. Be open to meeting new people and expect the unexpected. This is partly due to the dynamics of diversity: Major players are also starting up, bursting with new ideas. The combination of smaller players on the larger scale will create a whole new dimension. I once worked with an English HR manager who used the metaphor of liquorice allsorts for diversity: different kinds of people, who all bring something special. Diversity brings true added value, especially for those people who dare to think laterally and refuse to be a puppet of their superior.
I True feminine value – oriented relationships with a genuine interest in the other, intuition, being vulnerable and asking for feedback are more valued at this time along with network organizations. People wish to tackle complex problems or challenges together. These values seem to be more strongly anchored in the Scandinavian and Dutch (working) culture than in other cultures. Would that – in addition to external developments such as Brexit – be one of the reasons why companies wish to establish themselves in this metropolitan region of Amsterdam?
Networking itself, however, is obviously not the ultimate goal.. Think about what your prospects, clients or users can jointly offer when it comes to shared values and where the challenge lies. Increasing the value, keeping the convenience for the customer in mind and focussing on customer satisfaction with the service.
But network partners must, above all, wish to make something of it. The key should be to create added value for future customers. In actual fact, that creation is a process that never ends. Besides a good network, you can add service, reliability and customer focus. They form a circle and reinforce each other. But first things first.
The partners which Projob Company Onboarding are going to work with will be presenting new ideas for propositions on June 12 and which will add great value to the platform. What may they develop together for companies which come here to settle? I am very curious as to what these partners can create together. How open are they for the unexpected? Can they establish a joint and appealing proposition? Looking back to our philosophy moments in Dwingeloo, I hope a lot of creative thoughts will pop up, and obviously, that a lot of fun is had by all!
Nanke Kramer is Network Associator at Projob and owner of &Kramer Communications