Coolfarming: the surprising power of social networks

Social networks are an essential fabric for both business and private life. This article applies principles of social networking to corporate leadership, arguing that we need a new brand of company, where customers become one with the company, working in collaborative communities fostered by the internet and online social networks. It offers proven, practical steps on how to transform an organization into one capable of unleashing the power of self-organizing swarms – a process we call coolfarming.

To be cool, something must make the world a better place and exhibit altruism in its development and realization. Collaborative Innovation Networks, or COINS, are groups of people which operate in three cool ways: by giving power away, by sharing knowledge and by self organizing. Such networks have the ability to tap into a collective knowledge which far exceeds that of its cleverest individual. All involved contribute their time, energy and knowledge out of a shared passion for a shared vision. It is not about power, money or winning – it is about working together to make things better.

“Just like great farmers, their main task as coolfarmer is to provide a nurturing environment, and let the swarm do the work by itself.”

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or business leader, what you want most is to be ahead with the latest, hottest consumer enthusiasm: a product or service that comes across as brilliant, original and trendy; the kind of thing that not only seems cool in and of itself, but makes the lucky consumer who uses it feel cool. Coolhunting refers to the process of seeking out and finding the latest trends.

Coolfarming shows you how to dig deeper and become a part of the initial development phase of what will be the next hot phenomenon, converting creative dreams into cool products by enlisting the help of dedicated and passionate collaborators.

The complete article was written by:

  • Peter A. Gloor
    Research Scientist, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, Chief Creative Officer, g alaxyadvisors AG, MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, MA, US

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