Today we are going to delve into what’s called the intelligence network.
“The most successful leaders we know learn in a different way: by tapping into what we call network intelligence. Let’s consider how Reid Hoffman solved a major business issue at PayPal by drawing on the knowledge of his network. At the time, PayPal was suffering seemingly endless delays in the launch of PayPal Japan. Each week its attorneys would find new regulatory issues that prolonged the process. Reid called eight friends with good connections in Japan and asked whom they knew who might be able to help. Three mentioned the same name: Joi Ito, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. One introduction later, Reid was talking with him about the situation. Ito found a consultant who obtained a letter from the Japanese financial services agency stating that PayPal could launch its service immediately so long as the site wasn’t in Japanese; English-language websites weren’t legally considered to be operating in Japan. PayPal Japan debuted shortly thereafter, and Reid and Joi—who now directs the MIT Media Lab—struck up a friendship and collaboration that is still going strong.
The above excerpt, is taken The Harvard Business Review’s recently published article, “Learn From People, Not Classes”.
It’s been interesting to watch as each of my children have had the opportunity to receive higher education. Just like I did at their age, they received a massive front load of education, and then were shot into the work force, expected to learn on the curve. In many professions, four years of college is all the education one is expected to receive for the next forty years of their life.
Many of us seek continuing education to maintain an edge in our careers. But as mentioned above, are we really tapping into our network intelligence? Also known as knowledge of the crowd.
Your challenge this week: assess your intelligence network. Find those in your team that you are not fully utilizing in ways that can benefit you and them.
List out each individual in your team, and list their specialities. If you don’t know them, now is that time to find out from them what those strengths are. Explore your intelligence network. It can save you massive amounts of time, and is often more beneficial than the virtual classroom.
Good luck this week!