The Power of a Network

22 August, 2014

I was out for dinner recently and asked my companion why he hadn’t shared his very good business idea with his peers. His response was that he didn’t think it fair that he should come up with an idea (which wasn’t an original one strictly speaking) so that everyone else could benefit. The statement was irrational and egotistical of course and failed to recognise that he was part of a network of peers, a network that has over 200 colleagues in one form or another and over 20,000 weekly customers.
For a split second I thought how can this intelligent guy fail to see that IF people acted like this everywhere we would be extinct as a species!  As ever, the gentleman’s behaviour was a representation of his beliefs, beliefs that sadly are underpinned by the need to protect an ego, the need to defend against the feelings of vulnerability. 
The reality is that the very thing that could help him further his situation towards his goal he was unconsciously turning into something negative.
He had access to a huge peer base that could give him the inspiration, the ideas and the confidence to go on and achieve everything he needed to be successful. If only he had championed his idea to his network, asked them to contribute and comment, then fine-tuned the idea and put it back out there, the network might have embraced it. He might right now be seeing the realisation of his idea, which would have done wonders to resolve the issues of ego fragility and vulnerability.
By definition, all your problems have answers, answers that are much closer than you can ever know, when you have a network of people immediately around you, in your work place or even in greater society. The challenge you have is to open your eyes to the idea that if more people shared their ideas with their networks, then more challenges would be overcome and the greater the benefit to everyone.