In our daily lives we have a lot of networks. Networks are not really new. I mean thinking about the railway system, the telephone net, the network structures in many industries it is nothing that has been invented just in the last years or has raised just due to the huge digital wave we have experienced in the last decade. The same applies to cooperations. Also in the seventies, eighties, nineties we had cooperations: The franchise system, huge chains of company entities all over the world such as the hundreds of Mc Donald’s, Walmarts and global players local units in the industries.
But why networking seems to become the focus topic everywhere – in our curriculum, in our companies and departments, in discussions?
Probably because the concept of cooperation and networking today is going to leave the traditional borders. Networking and cooperating today needs to be revolutionized just because it is no longer just inside a company or among the traditional stakeholders who work at a project or topics- related players in areas such as education, innovation, technology. Co- operating today has something to do with the globalization trend, with inclusion and diversity. It needs simply to leave ways we all are used to.
This is what it makes so complex and difficult. Because future cooperation and networking ask for openness and transparency among untraditional parties, for the willingness to share and co- operate together with ‘unknown’ areas and partners. Which makes it also ‘unsecured and risky’ – at least for those who always counted on the long-lasting and traditional ways of thinking.
Whether these fears are right or wrong – we might not be able to stop if we want to go ahead. The next generation of cooperation is on it’s way.
But I am sure that the advantage to cooperate on a cross-functional and interdisciplinary level offers an incredible potential of new ways on how we all think and interact in the future. Why should schools not learn from industries and viceversa? Why do we not organise and promote conferences on a certain topic across apparently completely different stakeholders from completely different areas? As long as we innovate and network just among the traditional borders, we will continue to think in traditional ways.
Let’s give a try to go across the borders and do it differently!
What do you think?