“When we can see a richer, more accurate, more three-dimensional world… we will come to understand the rich variety of network structures and designs; we will learn to tailor network solutions to specific web problems. We will proceed by trial and error, or course, but at least we will have a starting point, a framework of analysis and a set of tools.” Anne-Marie Slaughter
In business, we have been living and performing with corporate hierarchies as the structure for finding solutions. In our personal lives, our few chosen personal resources have been our only access to answers (from doctors and teachers to friends who seem to always know the right direction to point us in).
But, as Google becomes spoken only as a verb, the Internet's little blue links that now lead us to solutions, are unveiling a new generation of human connectivity. Smarter than the blue links that yield only a means to an end, virtual relationships are now being created in which we rely on others to review and request, to give and to take, to discuss and to help solve, providing us with critical information that informs our decision making. This is transforming the way that we work. And will likely start to break down the silos that constrain so many of us within our like-minded communities, beginning to help address so many seemingly unsolvable problems.
If only there were a way to simplify the massive undertaking of understanding all the connections between people, allowing us to find exactly whom we need to find. Until recently, we had very few tools to help us in our endeavor. You could run a search for people on your social network. Spend hours pouring through alumni data bases or websites of interest to see if you could identify any friends or any commonalities to elicit a connection. Maybe even downloading on of those networking 'apps' that promises to connect you to exactly the right person... But what if your 'need' wasn't solvable within this criteria? What if you were interested in changing politics in your community and the answer lies across the ocean? What if you wanted to connect with the most influential person on a narrow topic within your industry and she was just about to publish her life's research on the topic?
Now there are many tools that help us to visualize the current state of our networks. On a basic level, SociLab can help you to see how 500 of your LinkedIn connections are connected. You can use SocioViz to see how your Twitter network is connected. You can use the amazing Kumu and Metamaps to map and visualize almost any network or system. And you can be sure that Facebook is constantly doing this in the background, ensuring you're connected to your friends, and your friends recommendations, and simultaneously making a nice little profit. To delve deeper though, basically requires a PhD to understand the technicalities of connectivity and visualization used in network analysis, social graphs, or organizational network analysis.
We, along with Anne-Marie Slaughter, believe that the answers to some of today's and future generations most pressing issues, lie in the connectivity and understanding of communities. And that everyone should have access to visualizing their communities (no PhD required), in order to progress toward impactful solutions.
This has been the inspiration behind our Quick Connectors. Regardless of your gathering, meeting, cohort, event, conference or study group, our software allows you to select a pre-set survey that aligns with your objectives, and personalize it to your community and goals. You will quickly be provided with a custom URL to share with your network, gathering inputs that allow easily understandable visualizations of your community. In real time, you can see how everyone is connected. You will be able to identify influencers, connectors, information bottlenecks, or any other metric you desire to uncover from within your community. Our easy to use, real time tool, will provide you with the framework you need, to move us all forward.