by Divya Samtani
Welcome to the Connected Age. We live in a world that is now transparent and open-sourced, driven by the interdependency of behaviors and interconnectivity of events. Success is no longer dependent on cool technology or venture capital, but on whom you know and how you work with them. True innovation occurs when information and ideas are shared, not withheld. When it comes to collective intelligence, “diversity matters more than individual brainpower” (Steven Berlin Johnson, Future Perfect). The emergence of globalization and digital technology has unleashed a boundless flow of ideas, capital, talent and opportunity, and the ability to tap into that flow has become the key to meaningful productivity, growth and prosperity.
Such a world has several benefits. It reduces redundancies, sparks fresh thinking, and drives us to ask different questions – better questions. It pushes us to challenge our existing mental models, think laterally and exponentially, rather than linearly. It calls for a new type of leadership – one that is all about breaking down walls instead of building them, and focuses on becoming a connective agent first to become a change agent.
As it turns out, co-innovation is one of those rare occasions that lets us have our cake and eat it too. In a world that functions in accordance to networking principles, knowledge and reciprocity only grow larger as you use them, bringing forth more opportunities for everyone. Creativity begets more creativity, connections beget more connections, success begets more success, and giving begets more giving. The pie truly is infinite.
At Metta, co-innovation is something we’ve built our organization around. For us, it’s a way of seeing the world, and it starts with helping our members connect the dots and expand their possibilities. We do this by finding the most brilliant and passionate individuals from across industries, geographies and sectors, who put their individual interests and egos aside to come together in a powerful process of simultaneous learning and doing. It is precisely this cross-sector collaboration that drives impact on a grander scale than otherwise expected. Classic cross-celeration, as we like to call it.
With alliances ruling the 21st century, the best thing to do now is to organize the disorganized and create a community out of disparate network nodes. This allows individual players to operate at the confluence of where the most generous relationships are borne, where information flows free and where people trust one another enough to help one another. Positioning yourself at this convergence of knowledge and opportunities is what will ultimately empower you to master the art of facilitating connections, brokering knowledge and harnessing the power of co-innovation.