Apr 26

Networking: The Future Is Three-Dimensional

The concept of a network usually can be depicted as a two-dimensional representation of interconnected boxes with a person or an organization as the focal point. As a network grows, it spawns sub-networks that sometimes begin a distinctly different offshoot that takes on a life of its own and grows more rapidly than the original network. In other cases, overlapping networks tend to seek common nodes that make them more dynamic and vibrant. A personal network will have contacts in common with company, professional and social branches. When we consider the basic concept of interpersonal communication through networking and add a new dimension, the true three-dimensional picture of networking shows how much further we can go.

All of us can be smarter than any of us. – Howard Rheingold, Net Smart – How to Survive Online

Network Sharing – Knowledge of people, things and concepts is limited if we must learn everything. In a simpler world, nobody would need to have the wisdom of the ages to do problem solving. Complex problems require the use of larger networks connecting the human brains together like a computer on the internet. Human wiring consists of communication and the best form is personal and verbal. Exchanging data through ad hoc information exchanges gives a greater thinking power than a single brain could ever handle. We become as knowledgeable as our network and this fact must be considered when forming alliances.

Network Intelligence – If an idea pops into one person’s head, logic tells us that others have probably thought of the same thing. If large numbers of people arrive at the same conclusions, the entire network benefits from the exchange. Even though decision making may be decentralized, the results of those decisions and following them to their logical conclusions become the group intelligence quotient for the entire network. We are all more intelligent by networking with people arriving at common solutions

Network Collaboration – Many people banding together to work on the same problem creates a dynamic that goes far beyond the capabilities of an individual or small team. Diversity of thought from overlapping three-dimensional networks increases the probability of innovative thinking and conclusive results. Leadership may be shared, but all share the bond of a common goal and a hunger for finding the most appropriate path. We are all better finders of solutions when we share the passion.

Network Collectivism – The ultimate networking experience is when networked intelligence comes out of collaboration and even competition with the many individuals in the network. In a departure from a dogmatic theorist proposing an idea that is then preached by followers, there is a mutual collection of individuals that are capable of consensus decision making by popular adoption. The compilation of wikis and other libraries of knowledge logically expand all that we know. We are all contributors to the collective network when we share the products of our networks with others for posterity.

Are there other “out of the network” challenges to explore? Ask your multi-dimensional network.

Image credit: ulkan120 / 123RF Stock Photo (Edited)