I believe that no company is too small to make a difference, but I also know that we create our biggest impact when good people, doing good things, stick together and work together for good.
These days, as we talk of scaling our business, large or small, Network Orchestration gives us the ability to grow very quickly, relatively speaking. Each participant is but one, but we are all able to provide products, audiences, content, and connections, as we have the motivation to grow. Bringing “it all” together gives us all the potential to see gains on a larger scale.
Some Network Orchestrators you likely know or use: Etsy (providing access to physical stuff you can buy directly from the makers), Upwork (providing access to freelancing individuals and their creative services), AirBnB (providing access to those renting places and spaces) , Uber (providing the technology to connect you with a driver to transport you), TripAdvisor (providing a user-generated platform for reviews and advice on travel-related content).
The list of successful businesses based on Network Orchestration is growing daily, and this formula can also work for small businesses, models not based on and in technology, and smaller scale ideas.
Why does Network Orchestration work well for small businesses? It’s more profitable. It offers a higher return with lower marginal costs. It speeds up organic growth.
As a connector, creator and a Network Orchestrator, I work hard to deliver value to my clients (and even to good organizations who aren’t my clients) through making meaningful introductions, promoting the good, fostering interactions, and developing strategic partnerships.
Being a connector has meant that I’m often met with some confusion over what I do. People typically understand makers and builders, service providers, and technology engineers. And, while I occasionally like to make things (like BaaLLs, Orb Candles, The Wellness Intelligence Collective, and my books), provide straightforward services, and simplify technology for others – I am most often leveraging digital platforms for connectivity and exercising the customer relationship management system in my head because I know it’s important for growth, and for making an impact, too.
From the connectivity perspective, leadership to me isn’t about power or control. Leadership is about being open to a world that is different, the power of yet, and connecting others to get there. I’m more interested in being a co-creator, and choose to work with others to develop a healthy network – for everyone’s benefit. When people take on more roles, or do not see bold divisions between what is “my work vs. your work”, we all become more connected.
Connectivity is why I push my clients to develop their digital assets, it’s why I urge my clients to “own” their social media channels (even if they have no interest in being involved in social media), it’s why I encourage clients to invest in their web presence and blogs (it’s not about budget, but it does require attention and commitment to evolving). Using all of the above to connect with like-minded businesses and customers is one of the keys to success for any business, but truly can allow small businesses to compete in big ways, more efficiently than ever before.
Our assets are not just what we physically own or make, but are also what our teams, and our brand champions, do and contribute. Our brand culture matters more than what we choose to communicate directly to our clients. How we interact with our audience, rather than the words we choose, is what’s being judged and engaged with on an ongoing basis. When we focus on connectivity in our work, we’ll recognize our customers as our shareholders in many ways. When we respect this relationship and leverage it, we are poised for sustainable growth with momentum – all critical in effectively fueling our bottom line.
I feel very fortunate to work with so many good people doing good things. As a Network Orchestrator, since starting Borden Communications in 1994, I see it as my job to bring people, companies and brands together. I love what I do, and I take pride in sharing my strategies and insights, and taking on meaningful roles for small, meaningful businesses that are driven to succeed. As small businesses, we should make music together; as small businesses with a common goal of making our communities better, we need to make music together.
The shift in terms of daily work and mindset is from imposing strategies and roles in a highly structured, hierarchical way, to being an orchestrator and/or a co-creator, understanding and always learning how to motivate, inspire and work alongside others to develop and add value to the network.
The bottom line: begin today in your own organization. Activate your networks by reaching out to your colleagues, your customers, your employees, your partners, your sponsors, your suppliers, and your investors, and explore how you can co-create value with them.