Social networks drive Innovation

I’m always looking for simple ways to explain how networks change business and how social media help to increase openness, driving transparency and increasing innovation.

Does this graphic stand on its own, or is there more explanation required?


With significant feedback via Google+, here is the next, but not last, version.

Version 3 (thanks to Dan Pontefract & Simon Fowler and many others on Google Plus)

14 Responses to “Social networks drive Innovation”

  1. Yolande Villemaire

    Still trying to figure out Google + bit it seems to be bringing you some traffic and comments:-) Was wondering how transparency drives diversity? How openess reveals transparency is clear, as well as how diversity increases openess.

    • Harold Jarche

      From the book, “Net Work” by Patti Anklam (pg 98) “Innovation and discovery across disciplines are not possible without the property of transparency. A fully transparent network is visible to all: Its artifacts are public, its decisions (including those on the topics of purpose and value) are taken in plain sight of and with the participation of the whole network, and the boundary between leadership and membership is permeable.”

  2. Dan Pontefract

    Since you asked …

    Personally speaking, I’d use the word ‘encourages’ instead of ‘drive’ … and I’d use the word ‘reinforces’ instead of ‘increases’.

    Knowledge sharing or transparency doesn’t drive innovation or diversity, it encourages it. By sharing or being transparent, one doesn’t forcefully drive towards being innovative, but they are in a greater degree of encouragement to do so.

    And I don’t think openness increases as a result of being innovative, but one is highly more susceptible to reinforcing their open behavior and their depth/breadth of social networks.

    Otherwise, I’d use it. Very useful.

    Yes, I cross-posted and it was >3 hours later.

  3. Samuel Driessen

    Nice visual, Harold. And good updates of the picture as well. We’re learning together!
    My 2cts. You link social network to transparency. It’s clear why. But isn’t the network or social network underlying your whole picture (as trust does)? Innovation is done in social networks (not alone). So, innovation is done in social networks (real-life and/or supported by tools) and created by openness, transparency and diversity.

  4. genxrecon

    A wonderfully clear representation. Thank you!

    As I think about how Ent 2.0 can aid businesses facing the shift of their demographic profile (retiring baby boomers, incoming GenY), this notion of transparency is critical. Unfortunately, I observe strange barriers in transparency from the corporate side that will undoubtedly impact their ability to address the changes in their firm going forward.

    Without openness, there is no transparency, without transparency there is no knowledge sharing, without knowledge sharing you will be stuck in the paradigm of an aging and dying work group… and soon a dying business.

    • Harold Jarche

      This model was initially developed while working with two large corporations. The logic is clear to many people inside the organization, but not to all.

  5. Jen Sutherland

    Have just seen a link to this diagram from G+ and you are my new hero! I am in a team tasked to drive a culture of innovation in my company. I have long held that a culture of collaboration is critical to this, but more from a gut feel. This diagram *perfectly* explains what’s in my head! Thanks 🙂

    100% agree with genxrecon’s comments too.


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