The Network Imperative is Human

232 (1)Recently much has been made of ‘big data’, the ‘internet of things’, the importance of ‘extra organizational networks’ in business. Business 4.0.

The fundamentals of these dialogues are terrific but are based on one fundamental principle, connectivity. Connectivity increasingly requires technology as an enabler, but it is often presented as an end in itself. The most valuable asset in any business remains the people who interact with and are customers of the technology, producing results and growth.

Business 4.0 turns much traditional business thinking on its head since it starts with a business idea and ends with a product. Ideas come from people and their environments. From organizational cultures which foster a growth mindset and use technology to access, accelerate and action ideas.

As Libert, Beck, Wind identify in The Network Imperative, there are four basic business models – meaning ways in which an organization creates value:

  • Asset builders deliver value through the use of physical goods. These companies make, market, distribute, sell and lease physical things (Ford, Walmart, Exxon, Boeing) [ 2x multiplier ]
  • Service providers deliver value through skilled people. These companies hire and develop workers who provide services to customers for which they charge (Humana, Accenture, JP Morgan Chase) [3x multiplier]
  • Technology creators deliver value through ideas. These companies develop and sell intellectual property, such as software, analytics, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology (Microsoft, Oracle, Medtronic, Pfizer) [5x multiplier]
  • Network orchestrators deliver value through connectivity. These companies create a platform that participants use to interact or transact with the many other members of the network. They may sell products, build relationships, share advice, give reviews, collaborate and more. (eBay, Uber, Visa, Red Hat, TripAdvisor) [8x multiplier]

The decision to decide which business model is made by people, the successful execution of the business model and strategy is done by teams and great teams are developed by great leaders. The highest value is created by orchestrating networks through leaders of teams and people, through their connectivity, values and behaviours.

Improving organizational performance through people is still the heartbeat of every success, best practice and deliverable; and delivering the best results.

Start with the end in mind and invest in your people first. The Network Imperative is Human.

To find out how Lighthouse NINE Group can help you build your growth, please review our disciplines at

Drew Munro, CMC
Lighthouse NINE Group
One Eva Road, Suite 209 | Etobicoke, ON M9C 4Z5
Office: 647-975-5312

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