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The Participatory Era

Stowe flags a nice quote from John Hagel and Thomas Friedman that highlights the shift into the Participatory Era – a characteristic of which will be a move from “store” to “stream”.

John Hagel, the noted business writer and management consultant argues in his recently released “Shift Index” that we’re in the midst of “The Big Shift.” We are shifting from a world where the key source of strategic advantage was in protecting and extracting value from a given set of knowledge stocks — the sum total of what we know at any point in time, which is now depreciating at an accelerating pace — into a world in which the focus of value creation is effective participation in knowledge flows, which are constantly being renewed.

“Finding ways to connect with people and institutions possessing new knowledge becomes increasingly important,” says Hagel. “Since there are far more smart people outside any one organization than inside.” And in today’s flat world, you can now access them all. Therefore, the more your company or country can connect with relevant and diverse sources to create new knowledge, the more it will thrive. And if you don’t, others will.

And I agree with Stowe – a key determinant of business success will be the power of it’s network. I don’t think this will be defined in terms of, say, number of followers, but rather, degree of participation and contribution.

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