Sunday, October 14, 2007

3 Kinds of Value in Networks

In my work with social network development, we're talking about 3 kinds of value people bring to their networks, that shape the quality of their connections.

Asset value is talent and resources. Positional value is awareness of the network and access to assets. Generative value is the ability and willingness to engage strengths in trust building and collaboration. Strong networks not only have people who bring each of these kinds of value, they have people who bring 2 or 3 kinds of value.

What we refer to as "network weavers" are often people with positional and generative value, and sometimes asset value although asset value is not a requirement for network weavers.

Generative value is the most important of all 3 because it drives the kind of inclusion and connectivity that increases a network's net (pardon the pun) asset and positional value. When the quality of connections deepens, the strength of the network expands.

The good news is that we now know exactly how to help people and networks develop their capacities for generative value.


Len Edgerly said...

Interesting breakdown. Could you give some specific examples of bloggers representing the three types of value you describe?

Brian Herod said...

In Communities of Practice, Wenger identifies 'bridge' people who bring together functionally separate groups to foster new informal workgroups. I wonder where these people would fall in this categorization.