806RE: [ona-prac] Re: End of Value Networks: Not!
- May 10, 2011
Hi Patti –
Thanks for your note.
For the aphorists in the group, concerning the VN/VNA fiasco, “Drink your own champagne!” or “Doctors, heal thyself!”, comes to mind.
There is no doubt or question that all flavors of network analysis, O/V/SNA, reveal some structures and patterns that may be valuable to business.
The problem, why network analytics is always challenged in business, is, frankly, the staggering arrogance of the science and, more importantly, its practitioners.
For example, basic product management for network analysis is anathema to network pseudo-intellectual, wannabee scholars and business dilettantes. The tedious, expensive, drawn-out work of perpetual customer development and radical customer focus is simply not in the orbit of so-called thought leaders.
Many people are intrigued by the benefits of network analytics. Then, some research-minded consultant starts blabbing about your, “…conceptual model with a solid methodology.” Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Customers want impact and outcome. Period. They don’t give one whit about eigenvector centrality.
In Silicon Valley/NorCal, loopy “conceptual models” are summarily rejected. Here, only customers matter. Imagine marching into a hot South-of-Market start-up with a bag of yarn and Post Its for a VNA ‘Insight’ session. That’s utterly ridiculous and a hilarious vision!
(Besides, there would probably be no one there, since they would all be out with customers…)
The absolute importance of customers and product is very hard and painful message for the narcissistic concept consultants and there very ‘solid’ or petrified methods. It is impossible to get through.
My advice for authentic network analytics people is to accept you are a NOT equipped for business. Your mindset is research not customers. If you want pull-thru and growth for S/V/ONA, get the hell out of the way! Surround yourself with business mercenaries and interpreters. Drop the phony pretense and incestuous strong-ties with other docile network researchers and theory consultants.
SNA practitioners trying to figure-out business adoption obstacles and cycles is a joke. It gives me the shivers.
Remember network people, please focus on your weak and absent ties. That’s where the growth is. C’mon, sports fans, it is Networks 101! (And completely, utterly lost on Value Networks.)
Look, every good discipline goes through its ‘End Phase.’ It is healthy and excellent. It shows people give a damn. Look around, you will always find claims of the end of this, the end of that.
Remember, if any method or technique does have legs it always emerges better and stronger (and often transparent). The ‘End’ allows otherwise silent critics to speak up! Remember to ‘Fail forward.’
However, there is still the nagging question that if value networks/VNA are so great, so important for business, then why would a business built to advance VN/VNA fail so hard? Hmmm. (Please, it is a rhetorical question.)
Finally, in Stanley Wasserman’s 857-page magnus opus on SNA, about
sixfour pages are useful to business. Same goes for all the VN/VNA blowhards, their galaxies of hubris and bombastic claims.
Trust me, the End of Value Networks is good for everybody.
I don’t think it’s appropriate to use a modest business financial restructuring to declare an “end” to a conceptual model with a solid methodology.
See the clarification, at http://valuenetworks.com/public/item/266971, including “the changes will not affect delivery of services or software support for the Value Network Insights application.”
Business in VNA and ONA may not be booming (for any number of reasons that practitioners are always interested in addressing), but the methods will always be useful tools for making sense of, and leading to insights into, core business problems.
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