When trying to reframe our thinking we need to ensure that there is place for seeing the world for what it really is. I believe that this is one of the most difficult things to do as we’re all stuck in our individual lives and in most cases are not incentivised to think differently. One such example is looking at the way in which the world is organized, where layers and multi-dimensional networks exist all around us. Reductionist thinking gets us to simplify the complexity of these interrelationships to the point where some discretely defined and easily articulated concept is used to describe phenomena.
Networks exist everywhere. But, firstly, a network is described in terms of the elements and relationships among the elements in a system. Systems take on many forms and include; the human body as a system, economic systems, legal systems, etc. Secondly, a network can only exist through two primary reasons, for the sake of this discussion. The first form of existence is the physical manifestation of networked thinking. An example of this type of network is a road system in a country. The road system can connect to another country if access is allowed and the rules of usage are agreed upon. This gets us to the second from of existence, where networks exist in the minds of people. It exists, based on the chaotic and disparate reasoning that exists when humans get connected intellectually.
There are various manifestations of networks, to take the reasoning to the next level. In business there are a number of networks that are closely related physically, but yet well removed in implementation and access. A particular set of networks can include; road systems, telecommunication networks, money networks, social networks, neurological networks and memes. They all have one thing in common, in that each has a node and a relationship to another node. Each node performs a function and cannot exist without at least one other node. The relationship describes the reason for existence and gives the networked system meaning.
Business ecosystems emerge as networks of commerce are formed. In order to develop a detailed view of how competitiveness evolves, different perspectives are required. Here are two examples, a timeline and business network.