- Visionscapers.net in a nutshell
- Networked mindset for 21st century innovations
- The power of diversity
- Combining the best of the 20th and 21st century
- Visionscapers.net as a social innovation
- Our real-life network foundation
- Our online network foundation
- Bringing it all together: Visionscapers.net
- Your feedback (comments)
In my presentation I introduced Visionscapers.net as a networked innovation company and what trends and thinking were fundamental to its development. You’ll find the original presentation embedded below.
Visionscapers.net in a nutshell
Visionscapers.net is a networked company consisting of independent professionals and small companies who can team up to help realize product, service or organizational innovation: innovations that leverages the possibilities and opportunities of our networked society.
Visionscapers.net combines the best of 20th and 21st century organizations to simultaneously benefit our clients and ourselves, the Visionscapers. I will explain this in further detail later in this post.
Providing a networked economy mindset for innovations in the 21st century
One pillar Visionscapers.net is founded on is the trend of our society becoming increasingly networked. This trend is mostly driven by the ubiquitous availability of the Internet and the social technologies build on top of it (think Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging platforms such as WordPress).
It empowers any individual to discuss, organize & collaborate on a scale and with ease not seen before. This new empowerment leads to new opportunities to create new sustainable value for consumers and companies. It enables individuals and companies to organize in new ways, allowing much more efficient & effective innovation and value creation in general.
As Visionscapers.net we are a living example of how individuals and companies can organize in a new way. Other than traditional organizations, we don’t have a strong hierarchical structure. We are all equal peers, with equal influence and responsibility to make our networked innovation company a success. This might sound like a burden, but the truth is that being trusted and working together as equal peers, and being able to shape and grow a company together is highly motivational to us all.
Being a networked organization we practice what we preach on a daily basis. The networked economy mindset that is native to us, and which we further grow through our experiences as a networked innovation company, enables us to help companies:
- Develop sustainable innovations for the 21st century
- Transform existing products and services to strong propositions for the future
- Improve innovation productivity by guiding the organization to start working as a network and benefit from the opportunities to co-create with end-users and other product & service stakeholders
Next to large projects, as a network we can also organize ‘pressure cooker’ sessions to help create new ideas and solutions.
The power of diversity
Another pillar Visionscapers.net is founded on is the importance of diversity in developing successful innovations. Diversity keeps us sharp, and our ideas fresh. It also enables a multi-disciplinary approach, allowing for synergies between different aspects to be created. This is key to successful innovation development.
The iPhone of Apple is a well known and prototypical example of an innovation that is full of synergies between aspects rooted in different disciplines. For instance, it combines form & interaction design, with the appropriate technology (e.g. multi-touch screens and APIs for Apps) and a business model that helps increase and sustain the use of this phone (App store with a growing community of developers). The interactions & synergies between different disciplines is actually much more complex and intricate for the iPhone, but I hope you get my point why a multi-disciplinary approach to innovation is of such importance.
With respect to Visionscapers.net, to illustrate our diversity, there are partners in the network with, for instance, a background in product design, user research, technology development (including (web) software development), co-creation, project management and marketing. You can navigate the network to learn more about who are in the Visionscapers.net network.
Combining the best of the 20th and 21st century
Combining the advantages of large ‘traditional’ companies and that of networks of ‘independents’ is the third pillar on which Visionscapers.net as a networked organization is founded.
Large traditional companies have scale and ‘name in the market’ (brand). While a network of independents have the advantages of autonomy, passion for high-quality results, efficiency, agility and flexibility. Bringing the best of these two worlds together in Visionscapers.net benefits us Visionscapers and our clients simultaneously.
We are able to combine the best of both by strengthening the bonds in our ‘real-life’ network, creating a shared online identity and making our internal organization more effective by using online tools. This is explained further in the sections on Our real-life network foundation and Our online network foundation.
Our real-life network foundation
Creating and growing or sustaining a networked organization of independent professionals is not simply a matter of giving any new network member a username and password for an online network. I wish it would be that easy!
The challenge is that ‘just a network account’ will not result in the strong bonds between the network members that are needed. Network members needs to have strong bonds: to be able to invite each other to work together, to actually be comfortable working together, to find synergies, to enable cross-fertilization of ideas and for new initiatives to spontaneously emerge.
So, to continuously facilitate the development of our real-life network we frequently organize offline meetings (every +/- 3 weeks). These meetings allow us to get to know each other better, provide input and direction to the continuous development of Visionscapers.net as a company, discuss new opportunities face-to-face, share ideas, gain new insights and get fresh perspectives on relevant topics. The meetings are always very energetic and inspirational; you can find some great photos in our Visionscapers.net events & workshops group on Flickr.
In what directions we grow as a network and as a company, how we operate on a daily basis and what we stand for is defined in continuous collaborations with the network members: it is a networked company for, and of, the Visionscapers.
Our online network foundation
Having stressed the importance of building a real life network through frequent meet ups, it’s good to introduce our online network, which plays an important role in the Visionscapers.net organization as well.
It consists of two parts: the internal visionscapers.net network and our public blog network. The internal network can be seen as the ‘inside’ of the company. It is where we discuss anything that relates to the strategy, marketing, new business development and daily operations of Visionscapers.net.
Our blog network on the other hand is public and is our ‘united face’ to the outside world. Although the individual blogs are focused on our individual identities, the combination of the content we write and the interactions we make through the blogs will help define our combined identity. This results in a shared brand, together with the work we actually will do together as Visionscapers.net of course.
Through our Visionscapers.net blogs all the Visionscapers are actually on the edge of the network: we are all a connection point to the outside world. We don’t have a PR department, a marketing & sales department or any department XYZ that handles contact with the outside world like traditional companies do. If a visitor to our site is on the blog of e.g. Jan Heemskerk and has a question, he or she can e-mail or call him, even if it doesn’t directly relate to his work. He could subsequently answer the question himself directly or ask other Visionscapers to help out.
This implies that every Visionscaper represents the network and the network represents every Visionscaper. In short : ‘You are the network, the network is you’!
Bringing it all together: Visionscapers.net
Visionscapers.net – the networked innovation company – is an organizational innovation that benefits the network members as well as our future clients:
- We provide one entrée to a fragmented market of independent professionals that can help our clients realize innovations
- We provide a diverse set of disciplines, skills and services making us uniquely positioned to help clients realize innovations – from vision to success
- Our diversity keeps our innovation power sharp & fresh and enables us to bridge disciplines. In our network we deepen our insight into different areas of expertise together
- As independents we provide high quality through our passion for what we do
- We are cost efficient, agile and flexible
- Together we are an innovation powerhouse that is able to accept and complete much bigger projects than we could on our own, and are able to build a shared brand that is much bigger than our own individual brands.
Your feedback and input is very much appreciated
If reading this post left you with questions, or it inspired you in some way, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail!
Thank you for sharing and listening,
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