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A Handy intro to Networks

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Blogfriend Rob Paterson has two concise posts up on understanding networks and network theory. If this is a subject you want to know more about, they are must-reads.

My Network Revealed – Now what can you learn about yours?


….Here is my social network as created by the Mapping tool on Linkedin. It’s not the 100% true picture but it looks like 90% to me. You can use their mapping tool by going here.

If I am right and we are moving to an economy that depends on our networks, then it is essential that we learn what each of our networks means and what we can do to make them healthier. So, with that in mind, let’s look at mine and I will share some lessons with you.

Next week, I will post a podcast that I recorded yesterday with the Master of Networks, Valdis Krebs. Anything I know is because of him. He will go much deeper than I – so this is an introduction.

Diversity – In nature diversity is a good thing – so it is with our social networks. You can see that I am connected to a series of worlds. PEI , Public Media, Network Thinkers, Family and I have 2 outside nets of New Military Thinkers and my legacy Corporate connections.

I think that this does not look too bad – I have good links into many fields. How does your world look? 

Our networks are like gardens, we can always make them better. We can always add and remove. We can always pay attention. ….

Read the rest here.

Human Networks – A masterclass by the Master Valdis Krebs – Podcast #networks

This is Valdis Krebs – The Galileo of human Social Networks – ie the person who shows us what they look like, when before they were invisible, and who shows us the simple rules that drive them. 

The few nations that were early into navigation and exploration in the 16th century, did very well. As we ourselves move into a world where all the advantages will accrue to those that understand Networks, I think it is vital that we understand how to navigate in the Network world. 

The problem that many of us have is that when we hear the work “Network” we think of TV networks or Telephone networks that are driven by the old rules of engineering. What Valdis talks about mainly are Natural Networks, of which human social networks are a part. These are driven by the rules of Emergence and Nature and NOT by the rules of the CEO.

The good news is that the Rules of Nature in this regard are simple to understand and to operate. 

Network copy
This is the “Map” that we are now going to explore.

Read the rest here.

Valdis Krebs is indeed the master of network-mapping and leveraging social networks



Thursday, August 30th, 2012

On behalf of Charles, Scott and myself, I would like to extend congratulations to our esteemed friend Lexington Green,  for the honor he has received.

To Be or To Do, the blog

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

[by J. Scott Shipman]

To Be or To Do, the blog

For the last couple of years I’ve wanted to start a blog, and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to get my feet wet here at Zenpundit, and then a little later at Fear, Honor, and Interest. Last year, I engaged a graphic designer to come up with a logo for “to be or to do” (TBTD) which I use in presentations, and essentially decided to build a site around the logo. The result is about 95% complete. 95% because my wife plans to also begin sharing with clients the TBTD material that I’ve developed—with tweaks where she deems appropriate.

While the purpose of the blog portion of the site is primarily as an outlet to share my interpretations of John Boyd’s work, I’ve already wandered into a compelling navy issue less than a week in. With luck, order will emerge, but I’m making no promises.

In my business, I’ve been using what I call Boyd’s scaffold to help organizations create cultures of excellence. Most Boydian thinkers use his strategies for competition and maneuver; I have focused on his notions of teamwork and cultural harmony. I’ve also taken a synthesis of Boyd as a man and derived five principles that, for me, define the man: honesty, courage, curiosity, conviction, and persistence. Two distinctly non-Boydian attributes, humility and optimism have been added because it seems like the right thing to do based on my life experience. As a matter of fact, optimism almost didn’t make the list, but my late mother-in-law impressed upon me the importance of optimism as a force in life—she did this as one suffering from, and eventually succumbing to breast cancer in 2010. She lived what she said; she was a Doer. Her life example was enough to make me a believer.

The TBTD site is primarily geared towards clients and potential clients, with a blog thrown in. The blog is not intended to be limited to business pursuits, but rather topics of interest that may also be interesting to readers.

As for the future, I’ve linked to many blogs Zenpundit readers either read or own. My introduction to and participation with this unique group has been a pleasure and a privilege beyond words. The book recommendations alone have made a substantial dent in my bottom line, but my library is exponentially better! So keep those title recommendations coming!

With any luck, my postings here will pick up in 2012; I have a series on patterns still under construction and two book reviews still in draft form (the books are old:))

Many thanks to Zen and Charles, and to the readership! I hope to see you here and at the new place just around the corner.

Cordially, JSS







John Robb’s New Site – Resilient Communities

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Via Shlok, cutting edge thinker, strategist and amigo  John Robb has launched a new site, add it to your daily “must read” list or blogroll:

Resilient Communities

What Resilient Communities .com does

How do you take control of your life in an increasingly unstable world?

  1. Decide.  Right now, your success is akin a cork on an increasingly turbulent ocean.  Change that. Make the decision to take control of your future.  This decision requires a change in mindset and perspective.
  2. Act.  Take steps to actively reduce your dependencies and gain degrees of freedom.  Learn how to produce what you need at a level that meets or exceeds what you currently buy.  Learn how to make an income either locally or online in a way that has meaning and substance.
  3. Align.  Network with other people that want control and meaning in their lives too.  Learn how to build or join online networks with the people who have the expertise to help you become resilient and/or share similar goals.  Learn how to raise capital from that community to fund projects — or — how to build the online network required to design and build useful new products or services.
  4. Community.  Build, join, or move to a local community that’s dedicated to building a resilient future.  A community that isn’t dependent on a global system run amok or vulnerable to disruptions.  A community that you can trust.  A community that rewards your contribution with reciprocal loyalty.  Learn how to form a community that’s worth living in and how to propel that community into a stable, bountiful future.

The goal of this site is to help you with every step along that path.

On “Knowing How or Needing the Chance”

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Trying to catch up from the point when work swamped me last week.

My longtime amigo Dave Schuler at The Glittering Eye voiced a disagreement with my post Ruminating on Strategic Thinking II. : Social Conditions which he set forth there, as well as in the comments section. Here’s Dave:

Knowing How or Needing the Chance? 

My blog friend Mark Safranski’s recent musings on the nature and sources of strategic thinking brought to mind an old politically incorrect joke whose punchline is “Know how; need chance.” He opens the post with a substantial list of strategic thinkers and then tries to find commonalities among them. I found his list of commonalities uncompelling. I don’t think these commonalities illuminate what strategic thinking is comprised of but rather what circumstances provide the greatest opportunity for strategic thinking.

For all we know the greatest strategic thinker of all time is sticking components onto a circuit board in Chengdu. We’ll never have the opportunity to see the results of her strategic thinking because she’s just struggling to make money to send to her parents back on the farm.

What “strategic thinking is composed of” – that is to say, the cognitive level behaviors – I speculated upon in part I – Ruminating on Strategic Thinking. I do not expect that I was successful in being comprehensive there, but I think that post is much closer to what Dave was alluding to above.

Part II was subtitled “Social Conditions”, which dealt with an informal case study of men “who had the chance”, the US leadership of WWII and the Cold War. Dave is correct that the human population of Earth or of a nation is statistically likely to yield a talent pool more able at strategic thinking than a subset of a  narrow elite groomed or self-selected for that purpose. However, the hypothetical potential of humanity at large does not provide me with case studies to examine they way that historical elites do, strategy often being intertwined with the holding and exercise of political power.

Part III, assuming I can get to it in a reasonable time frame, will look at activities that build an individual’s capacity for strategic thought


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