Value Network Analysis Workshop: Optimizing Business Performance

Below is the news release from Value Networks. I am looking forward to this event. Thanks to John and team for making the trip to Toronto a reality.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) February 19, 2009 — ValueNetworks.com® — a leader in organizational network visualization and analysis applications — announces the Value Network Analysis Workshop: Optimizing Business Performance.

The Value Network Analysis Workshop will be held at the MaRS Collaboration Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 20 March 2009. This workshop develops leadership, fluency and visualization expertise for value networks. It offers a hands-on introduction to social, organizational and value network analysis (VNA) application technology.

http://www.vncluster.com/YYZ09.htm

Value network analysis is a superior method for understanding, visualizing, optimizing and leading complex organizations and businesses. It applies to both internal and operational value networks as well as industry value networks and business webs. Value networks fundamentally expand and redefine the scope, value and importance of networks to business, economies and civil society.

Value network tools are redefining operations, tactics and strategies in the smartest organizations. They provide a powerful road map to the network-centric future. Value networks and value network analysis are becoming commonplace in top global firms. Value networks drive improvements in resource utilization, productivity, innovation and bring sharp business results overall.

Firms like Wal-Mart [NYSE: WMT] have discovered the spectacular business advantages of transforming from a supply chain mentality to sustainable value networks mindset. “Value Networks aid our understanding and ability to address key issues and opportunities in our business,” says the Wal Mart Corporate Website.

Giant ERP vendor Oracle [Nasdaq: ORCL] is urging customers, “…to evolve their companies’ supply chains into value networks…”

SAP AG [NYSE: SAP], the central nervous system of 47,000 companies worldwide is leading dozens of industry value networks. Dr. Henning Kagermann, Chairman and CEO of SAP, is transforming the firm and its software offerings to master, “…not only value chains but entire value networks.”

Value networks are popular in diverse institutional settings such as the European Commission, Geneva-based NGOs, the Red Cross and global health organizations.

The Value Network Analysis Workshop is sponsored only by participants. The workshop tuition includes a full-privilege, 90-day subscription to ValueNetworks.com™ Professional Edition. It provides a foundation for immediate application of value network methods to everyday business issues. It is designed both for people who are new to value networks and for those who would like to expand their methods and tools.

The venue is the stunning MaRS Collaboration Centre in downtown Toronto.

The Value Networks Analysis Workshop is open, low-cost, practical and conversational. It is for executives, directors, experts, researchers, scholars, consultants and practitioners having immediate needs for improved performance, greater effectiveness, faster innovation, customer delight and mastery of network-centric business models.

Pricing and Availability:

Registration for the Value Networks Analysis Workshop is open and available now. The event tuition, 90-day subscription to ValueNetworks.com™ Professional Edition, meals, refreshments, parking, materials, and registration is $499.00. Secure online registration in advance required. All are welcome.

Visit: http://www.vncluster.com/YYZ09.htm

Contact:

Sarah V. Jones, Event Director
ValueNetworks.com®
1072 Folsom Street, #386
San Francisco CA 94103
(978) 468-0267
http://www.valuenetworks.com/

Innovation: You Need to Eat Your Children

Another great guest post by John Maloney … thank you!

My old boss at HP, Lew Platt, like to say, concerning innovation, you need to eat-your-children. HP is famous for consistently having 80% of profits originate from products two years old or less. That requires the courage to kill (eat) products (your children) to allow innovation to flourish. As in nature, this optimizes the ecosystems. It drives profitability, growth and well-being.

Incredibly, in almost 2009, enterprise KM people are still talking about the obsolete notions of sharing, best practices and continuous improvement. (?) Ridiculous. Shameful.

Continuous improvement was important in the 80s as a temporal artifact of the quality revolution. It originated the notion of ‘best practices.’ Both are now 100% obsolete.

BTW, know who is a recognized master of both best practices and continuous improvement? Yep, General Motors, GM.  Today, right now, turn on the news and watch the GM CEO grovel and plead for tax money to fix the mess of US auto manufacturing caused specifically by excellence in sharing, best practice and continuous improvement. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. If you hear these terms in your organization, run, don’t walk, for the exits to escape (and to save your life/career).

Today organizations must achieve perpetual innovation (PI). The new Big Three, Toyota, Nissan and Honda get it (and 54% of the US auto market to boot).

Perpetual innovation inhabits value networks. To achieve mastery, do not focus on information distribution (?) and incremental improvements like KM & quality circa 1990. That is a waste of time and resources. You MUST focus knowledge efforts on value network structures and patterns: roles, links, exchanges and OUTCOMES. Information, practices and improvements take care of themselves in well-configured value networks. See:

http://valuenetworks.com/public/item/219361

Also, please forget about sharing. It too is 100% obsolete. There is NO time to share anymore. Rather, focus on collective intelligence. Accept and lead knowledge-based organizations as markets; as the complex adaptive systems all organizations are. Embrace collective intelligence networks and markets to achieve perpetual innovation. See:

http://www.pmcluster.com/SFO09.htm

Sadly, KM people and orgs are nostalgic. They struggle badly to let go and to focus on the future. They are on the same slippery slope as corporate IT – preserve the past at all cost. (Fully 80% of today’s IT budget goes to supporting legacy apps. Disgraceful.)

KM, IT and organizations fight hard to keep the past and sabotage innovation. Newsflash: They are very good at it! However, sooner-or-later they always lose, to be subsumed by the natural order of value networks and collective intelligence. (It is happening in Detroit as you read this post…)

To move forward, KM and their kissing-cousin, corporate IT, need to heed Lew’s advice, and kill their sacred children of sharing, best practices and continuous improvement.

Post Script from Michael:

In an era where inputs (including financial capital), technology, IP and brand become commodities in very short cycles, I think the problem must be addressed in very practical terms and it is concerning far beyond GM.

In this context, human resources become the source of competitive advantage more than ever.  So is it a race to the bottom or the top?  Ultimately comparative advantage from cheaper labour is a no win, so we can probably agree that innovation is the key.  John is bang on.

Is there anyone reading this that does not recognize that the new consideration is that broadband connectivity is scaling up and making visible the value networks in corporations that Verna Allee & Valdis Krebs have been drawing attention to for years?

Here are a couple of blog posts with additional thoughts:
http://socialcapitalvalueadd.com/2008/11/20/iam-or-social-media-man
http://memeticbrand.com/2008/12/01/memetic-brand-social-capital-value-add-start-socializing

SCVA, unlike brand valuation, is not linked to particular lines of revenue.  This is a model that attributes value to the sources of innovation and growth in a corporation rather than, for example, a commodity like tobacco or cars.

I think a model like this give the corporation the incentive to “eat its children” or switch revenue lines.

It is a happy economic coincidence that optimizing social networks requires hope & empowerment over fear & ignorance because in a hopeful environment informed individuals take risks. Publishing distinguishes emitters.  When they discover better ways, their peers emulate across the network. If fear & ignorance reins, productivity suffers.

The GM Solution

This is a guest post authored by John Maloney, you should check out all of his work …

Last month I agonized though a lofty lecture on “Change Management.” It was from a slick consultant who assured us with his shiny loafers and PhD. Problem was, it was positively identical to one I heard at Ford Motor in 1988 while participating in a senior management offsite. It was extremely painful, wrenching, and, well, foolish. Ironically, even after a generation, change management hasn’t changed!

Change management is the biggest management and development farce ever known to business. If you have ANY change management or often worse ‘cultural change’ programs in your organizations immediately kill them or resign your post. They won’t work and you will be badly victimized.

Here, for example, is GMs response to change. It is from the BW Article below, ‘The GM Solution: Life Boats, Not Life Support.’ http://tinyurl.com/5qpk7o

And in 2007, with over a million unsold cars in inventory, Mark LaNeve. GM’s head of North American sales and marketing, protested the need for change. “It’s not like we have some crisis,” he told the Wall Street Journal in its Feb. 9, 2007 edition.

If you ever hear the specious change management change mantra, ‘senior management sponsorship,’ run, don’t walk for the exits. If you hear the dopey, ‘change is the only constant’ calmly pick-up your notepad, pen and find a new role.

Change does not originate from the top or the middle. Please. These structures were specifically invented to eliminate change.

(Years ago I rallied against command and control. I was ostracized. GM is now headed to the ash heap of history on their confident rails of command and control.)

Begin to recognize loopy change management experts lament the failure of change management that THEY perpetuate! Woo-hoo! What a $$$ racket…

Here is how friend Shoshana Zuboff in says it in Business Week this week, exactly concerning GM.

“None of this is exactly “rational” behavior, but it tracks with what institutional economists have observed: The more a practice is institutionalized (history, legitimacy, interdependence, codification), the more it is taken for granted, the greater the energy that goes into maintaining it, and the more relentless the resistance to change. In 2006, GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner responded to the call for “new blood” in GM’s leadership with this screed in Newsweek: “These are sophisticated problems with historical tails that run back 80, 90 years. The chance of someone coming in and understanding our business…is absolutely microscopic.”

Today, business and economics is in a headlong flight to value networks and network intangibles.

Toyota, Nissan and Honda get it and helped invent it vis-à-vis TPS & Lean. See: http://valuenetworks.com/public/item/209498

The focus on value and network intangibles allows the new “Big 3” to account for 52% of the US car market. Flatly rejecting the vulgar UAW makes them produce products that are  enormously popular and profitable. Toyota’s annual profit is more that GMs market capitalization!

Here is a reinforcement of network intangibles from Shoshana.

The car is becoming an expression of identity, values, and personal control in ways that move far beyond traditional segmentation and branding. For example, fuel efficiency will be only one consideration for a socially responsible vehicle (SRV). What percent of the parts are recyclable? What is the vehicle’s total carbon footprint? Are there child labor inputs? Toxic paints, glues, or plastics? How transparent is the supply chain? Is the seller accountable for recycling? What methods are used? Are fair labor practices employed?

The new demands for an individualized driving experience at an affordable price require a fundamentally new business model—a discontinuous shift from economies of scale and push marketing to distributed networks of enterprises that cluster around individuals. The single most important factor for competitive advantage will be a brand’s ability to forge durable intimate relationships with customers based on trust, dialogue, and transparency. Similar skills will be needed at the enterprise level, as carmakers collaborate with other entities to support diverse customer needs.

Value networks and VNA are highly instrumental in defining this new business logic and putting in-place “…distributed networks of enterprises that cluster around individuals..”

Sure, it is possible to kick-back and not activate in value evolution of business and the economics of intangibles. That will only prolong and perpetuate our dire situation and put all solidly on the path to oblivion like GM.

Here is the article link. Please read and comment, here and at Business Week.

http://tinyurl.com/5qpk7o

Can’t really say ‘happy reading’ at the moment. Rather, it is time to act decisively.

(Note:  John, thank you for this guest post.  You are a real leader in this movement.  All – please go to the BusinessWeek article and add your comments. sincerely, Michael)

I Digg Valdis Krebs, please follow me

I just dugg a post on the Wired Blog Network about Valdis Krebs.  I think you should too.

Here is what The WOMMA Word had to say about the Wired piece yesterday:

Finding the Common Ground Between Steroids and Online Social Networks

Valdis Krebs, a social networks researcher who will be presenting at the annual PopTech conference in Camden, ME this week will be presenting a perhaps, non-intuitive similarity: steroid usage and Facebook. Krebs finds commonalities between the two resulting from the ability to quantify everything as a social network. His view is steroid usage in baseball disseminated quickly because of a closed network of higher performance seekers, players who insulated themselves from outside influence and opinions because they sought company only of those similar individuals. Facebook, MySpace, et al, are all platforms which foster the same insulated contact. We seek those like us, with similar interests, and the result is social networks are created in the same way Major League Baseball’s steroid network was formed.

More from Wired (10/23) | Permalink

Social Capital Value Add is all about linking the work of leaders like Valdis to value based management, so that their value proposition is more easily articulated in global boardrooms.  I think it can help do the same thing for the work of PR and social media practitioners.

Here is what my e-book Introducing Social Capital Value Add has to say about Valdis and a few of the others who are pioneering methods to add value through networks:

“There are many inspiring examples of companies taking a structural approach to strategy, including the work of Wendi Backler at Boston Consulting Group (a fellow alum of mine, and someone I admire) and the clients of Valdis Krebs and John Maloney.  The International Network for Social Network Analysis, founded in 1978 by Barry Wellman, brings together about 1000 members, primarily academics, many of whom consult with corporations.

Popular book and blog author Seth Godin has observed a class of a few million “Digerati” who are dedicated to “using the learning tools built into the Net to get smarter, faster” (Godin, 2005) and he himself evangelizes marketing methods aligned with SCVA. However Godin also notes the minority status of these examples. He describes a new digital divide separating such early adopters from the rest of business’ investors and managers.

SCVA is an attempt to appeal to the sensibilities of the early majority, shift attention away from brand in business circles and bring attention and investment to radically new methods of value creation. There is not much here that will impress the Digerati. Thomas Friedman has attempted to drive bottom-up adoption with a gigantic metaphor and educational effort targeted at individuals in The World is Flat. Malcolm Gladwell picks up on associated tactical marketing communications dynamics in The Tipping Point and Duncan Watts is provocative at the level of product/idea positioning and design.

SCVA would like to facilitate this crossing of the chasm by placing the typically unseen structural sources of corporate control in the networked age directly on the boardroom table using the carrot of increases in corporate value and the stick of performance metrics (along with a Wizard of Oz metaphor to keep the marketing folks awake!).”