We work in teams within organisations and organisations form part of a larger community of suppliers, distributors and customers. In the past, and there continues to be, some great examples of organisations providing learning to suppliers, distributors and customers of product to ensure that the product provided by a supplier meets agreed or necessary standards, to ensure distributors of product sell it or represent it to agreed standards, and that customers know how to get the best value from it. This activity has, in some cases, seen the use of an organisation’s Learning Management System (LMS) used within this “extended organisation” framework.
But if we take this to another level and consider how the principles of social networking (perhaps best called business networking in this context) holds potential to be an enabler to drive more complex and meaningful relationships between organisations (and their employees) and its business community partners through increasing levels of co-operation, then collaboration through technology could become a new point of market leverage. To a large degree this will hinge on the level of trust engendered between the various parties, but a major driver in it being achieved is because the sharing of know-how is a valuable outcome and collaborative networks will naturally develop formal and informal tentacles that span the business community. Admittedly, the strength of these relationships will be tempered through a continuing strong element of competitiveness, but into the future, it is likely the business community will become dependent on them as the various partners engage through new channels and heightened levels of trust and co-operation.
Share and prosper! – Learning cafe