Outbreaks ….

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On the other side of my interests, I was contacted recently by the Alan Guttmacher Institute. They were considering using a picture I took in Malawi in 2002 as part of a new report they are doing. which aims to expose the “sugar daddy” culture in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

I was in Malawi trying to learn more about the spread of HIV/Aids, with Save the Children – which brings me straight back to the subject of Networks.

Last week we were pleased to republish an article by Duncan Watts called “Outbreak” on LeaderValues. I find Duncan’s comment that “One reason that HIV managed to spread globally, breaking out of its core population of gay men, prostitutes, and intravenous drug users, was due to a general perception that it couldn’t” incredibly appropriate in all kinds of situations.

The purpose of networks

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I was with a client this week who was dealing with the creation of networks – in a community of practice sense. The network ideas they had looked good, yet there were a couple of missing parts which we worked on together.

First, unlike the internet (a now classic “scale free” network) which really has no intrinsic purpose, networks inside businesses are meant to achieve something – better communication, more ideas, faster action etc. So knowing what the purpose is will likely change the way the network is conceptualized.

Second, it is my belief that business networks must also focus on actionability in the way the linkages are designed between members – something new should happen, whether it is to build more learning or better results. And this will require easy searchability so members of the network can understand what others are up to, and how they can find existing knowlege in the network.