4 Types of Networking for Innovation

September 17, 2019

 

 

Diversity increases the probability of success in the innovation process. Greater diversity allows for the creation of multiple points of view. Viewing the problem space from different lenses can be beneficially open opportunities or avoid expensive pitfalls. Unfortunately, creating diversity is resources intensive exercise. 

 

One way to overcome the resource constraint while achieving diversity, and thereby access to knowledge, is through networking. Networking broadens networks and widens the inflow of knowledge into the problem-solution space. excitement 

 

Networking, in this context, is the creation of both formal and informal ties between people who share a similar meaning over both short and long term durations. 

 

Walter Powell and Stine Grodal have studied networking within the field of innovation; in summary, there are four different types of networking:

 

 

 

1. Primordial

Members of these networks have related interests, values, and obstacles. These connections typically exist before the formulation of a specific innovation. Innovations arise out of similar pain points or perceived opportunities. 

 

2. Invisible Collage  

These are networks of loosely coupled participants, often ring-fenced together to create a particular innovation. Once the system has served its purpose or the change established, the network is typically disbanded. 

 

3. Supply Chains

Supply chains are linked nodes often portrayed by well-defined deliverables. Strict overarching forces harmonize each nodes involvement. Each node within the network has a particular purpose during the production of innovation in this context.

 

4. Planned

The formulation of planned network happens with a definite intention and often found within legally stipulated parameters. The members of the planned network are selected or recruited due to a particular strength or skill they would bring to the network. Bonds are intentionally forged to formulate an innovation. 

 

Innovations resulting from knowledge inputs out of diverse parts have a higher chance of success. Innovation networking, when appropriately used, can deliver an efficient increase in diverse knowledge during the innovation process. 

 

Icons from illustrio used under the illustrio license

 

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