Mastering Connectivity


"Without understanding connectivity, the basis of human connections, network theory, contextual intelligence, any business leader unable to grasp those things will be lost." [Warren Bennis]

The 12 habits of highly connective people has been the single most read and shared post I have written in the last couple of months. Literally.

Why it worked

Part of the reason is the structure of the post.

It starts with a great story told vividly by a master storyteller and maker who has earned tremendous respect and attention in the business and tech communities. Two communities I am becoming very involved with and hope to bring closer to each other.

I met Anil Dash briefly a few years ago at a conference in New York City, and know I will find an opportunity to connect based upon some of our shared passions.

The other attractive part of the post was the manifesto-quality of the 12 habits: deep thoughts distilled into simple statements whose quality makes them easy to internalize because they are connected under the same idea, thus useful.


When we put structure or frames around things, we make it easier to break them down into steps or modules. Thus, we have the ability to visualize the actual things we are going to do and keep track of the vision and the goal(s).

How we do things — execution — is still very much up to our own experience, talent, and skill.

My recent overview about frameworks — how we think about what we do — at Ignite Austin was admittedly in a format that challenged the storytelling angle. You can be the judge of whether I pulled it off or not, the video is here.

Frame an idea or a topic that people are thinking about and address it well and you will have their attention. Take that same approach to addressing a real problem consistently, and you have a business to trade on.

Human connections

Why is the social graph such a fascinating and important part of digital connectivity?

Based upon mathematics and computer science, the connectivity of a graph is an important measure of its robustness as a network. The social graph shows human connections. There are entry points or intersections between personal story and story together.

Those relationships are the yin to the yang of commerce — complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system. Commerce is the relationships of what people exchange instead of the asset.


There is much more, of course. We'll get to that in due time.

Meanwhile, I'm seeing evidence that mastering connectivity, bringing together the yin and yang of commerce in the dynamic Big Shift John Hagel and John Seely Brown talked about in The Power of Pullis the future of business.

Leaders need to understand this new course. Will the Master of Communication Science and Connectivity Arts be the new MBA?


[image courtesy Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier]


0 responses to “Mastering Connectivity”

  1. I’ve been thinking about framing and re-framing concepts lately. You know I’m all about the metaphor, Valeria, but I’m finding real inspiration in explaining one thing in terms of another.
    In essence, this is the power of storytelling. Bringing said yin and yang together is lacing the shoes of the future of commerce. It is all about starting at the bottom, with equal lengths on each side, carefully and consistently coming together in the middle, until reaching the top, at which point both sides are still more or less equal, yet fully invested in the partnership, and keeping things in place together.
    Hard to run with un-laced, un-tied shoes!

  2. Whenever I read the comments to smart and visionary posts on other blogs and in publications, I often observe how readers seem to be lost.
    Whether for lack of formal education, or environmental deprivation, people seem to have lost the ability to suspend judgment long enough to consider information on its own merits.
    Which means they end up cutting their own nose to spite their face — remaining in the blind alley of helplessness for fear of the unknown.
    They bought the story they were told in the industrial age: stay in your place, do as you’re told, and you will be provided for.
    I find that more than a physical infrastructure, which we badly need, we’re in need of new mental constructs. Frames or frameworks can help bridge our thinking from “what I know” to what is possible.

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