The Power of Adjacent Communities

I recently read a book written by a coworker, Steve Todd, Innovate with Influence.  The book tells the story of Steve’s career, the storage industry from RAID to XAM and gives some good lessons about influence and innovation.  Steve talks about how he has created innovative products through connecting adjacent areas of expertise and knowledge – what he calls Venn Diagram Innovation (and Venn diagrams are just the coolest).  This topic resonates strongly with me on how when you make connections both internally in a company (breaking out of the “silos of excellence”) and to external communities.

Inside a large corporation, it becomes very easy to always interact with the same people.  Connecting with people outside of your work area will not only expand your knowledge, but helps to bring you fresh perspectives.  In the online community, there is also the opportunity to span between different groups of people.  Whether you are talking about blogs, Facebook or Twitter, it can be very interesting when you span multiple interests.  My primary technology focus is storage and virtualization, but I learn a lot from the innovation and social media communities.  There are often unexpected overlaps between the various groups and lessons that can be learned from all of the groups that can be applied across the board.  While it’s true that if you want to be the “expert” in a certain field that staying focused on a specific topic can help build your brand, most people wear more than one hat and you shouldn’t be afraid to post and engage on more than one topic.  What I have also found, is that if you are really willing to engage, that it is still easy to converse with real thought leaders that are online.  If you become part of the 1% of the internet that is contributing on a certain area, you can become well known on the subject and get to know others who are driving thought leadership.

I’d recommend picking up a copy of Steve’s book (Disclaimer: Steve is a friend a colleague, but I bought my copy and was not asked to write this post).  For some background on other business books that I’ve enjoyed, see my post Read this or fail to communicate from last year.  I’m always interested in hearing of good business books, I like storytellers with some applicable lessons, please comment on anything that you’d recommend.  If you’re new to this site, please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman

https://blogstu.wordpress.com

Share

2 Responses to The Power of Adjacent Communities

  1. […] Influence, continues the discussion of how to be a corporate intrapreneur (see my write-up of his first book). Steve draws on teachings of Vijay Govindarajan, Gary Hamel and Daniel Pink to give a framework as […]

  2. […] Expertise, customer exposure, and adjacent technology are the holy trinity of intrapreneurial innovation.  This innovation approach is highly effective at large corporations and is also referred to as Venn Diagram innovation. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: