Tuesday, November 11, 2008


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A Synergistic Miracle Occurs When Networks Are Upgraded To Teams. -- By Douglas Castle

Dear Friends:

There is a great deal of talk about networking. Most of this discussion revolves around the simplistic notion of collecting contact names and filing them away somewhere where you may forget them. On occasion, some slightly more enterprising souls have come up with notion of converting contacts into relationships. I am told that we can accomplish this by doing several things:

1. Maintaining communication (through personalized emails, through forwarding newsletters and articles, and through reaching out on a continual basis;

2. Asking, from time to time, for advice from these new acquaintances, and asking (just as frequently) how we may be able to help them accomplish their goals and objectives;

3. Sharing some personal information about our lives, our interests, our trifling vulnerabilities, areas where we need help, interesting cultural and familial stories, and the like;

4. Presenting oppportunities to participate in projects together, but without making demands or applying harsh pressures;

5. Making introductions to persons who may be of assistance to these new acquaintances.

In accomplishing the above objectives, it is helpful to communicate by telephone, and to send photographs in order to achieve a fuller, richer, more sensorial personalized perception -- a more "human" bond. I believe that brief voicemails or video clips embedded into otherwise conventional emails will become increasingly popular toward achieving this humanization perception objective. But, as always, I have retreated into my private reverie of utopian super-personalization and cyber-intimacy. (sigh)

More to my subject, I feel that networks should be brought together by diplomatic and energetic initiators, and shaped into cause-based teams...teams which can accomplish great things by working in concert. A well-chosen, well-structured, well-guided team can accomplish great things in this world. Going further, if a team is visulaized as a circle, then every member has his or her own circle of contacts outside of the team with him or her at its center. If these circles can be linked or brought together into the greater circle, team size and power potential have the potential to be exponentially increased. Struggling entrepreneurial enterprises are generally far to frightened and defensive to see the tremendous benefits of this conjunction and cooperation -- this protectionist mindset is, with the possible exception of plain indolence and inertia, one of the greatest barriers to team formation and success. Sadly, even some of the most otherwise active networks remain comprised of multiple dyads, and team formation is relegated to "afterthought" status.

This is as wasteful of human resources as it is wrong. A well -coordinated team accomplishes so many fundamental objectives for each of its members:

1. Complementarity;
2. Synergy;

3. Protective diversification;

4. Risk-sharing and minimization of individual loss exposure;

5. Reduction of redundant costs, and sharing of costs to reduce cost per participant;

6. Cross- marketing;

7. Rapid growth potential.

How are networks formed into teams?

Firstly, each network member must have an existing relationship (in dyad form) with the team organizer, or initiator. This latter person is the unifying friend and catalyst who serves as vouchsafe and introducer of each prospective team member to each of the others. This person may be a leader, or a moderator, depending upon his or her preferred personal style. A team must be formed around a specific projec, goal or mission; if the project, goal or mission is either too nebulous, too vast, or of minimal perceived importance, the team will not bond. Important, relevant, specified purposefulness is key to team solidification and participation amongst members. Passion and vision are important uniting elements as well.

Each team member must have a clearly defined role, and each member must clearly see the importance of each other member's role, as well. A single team member who does not make a perceivable contribution to the team effort will cause dissonance, and ultimately, team dissolution.

The organization of the future, born of today's networking obsession, will be a consolidated team, comprised of component sub-teams. And the wonder of this is that team members can be culled from every part of the world where internet access exists. I firmly believe that this organization of the future will be stronger, better and far more productive than the conventional structures which we see crumbling about us now. It will be more interpersonal, more flexible, more compassionate, and far more profitable.

Teams are more than a business configuration -- they are the natural next step in the evolution of the socially conscious organization.

Prediction: You will be hearing more and more about team-building. You will become increasingly receptive to the idea. You will become a member of a team and reap greater benefits in every aspect of your compensation and quality of life than you ever had when working for a traditionally-structured and typically-managed corporate enterprise.

Cross-reference links:


Douglas Castle,


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