You’ve likely heard of the Network Effect – it’s a concept used to describe large scaling tech startups. It’s when adding additional users, adds to the value of that product to others. But how can you apply this concept to the way you work, to collaborate and get better outcomes? Think of the traditional example of the telephone, the more people that use it, the better it is for everyone in the network. The same can be said for Zoom, Facebook, Skype and countless other examples. However, when I’m talking about the Network Effect in this context, I’m not talking about a business or a tech platform or a high-density network effect, I’m talking about us as people, as individuals, being the “product” if you like, and how we can collectively add value to each other through collaboration. It’s a topic particularly close to my heart as I’ve seen first-hand the benefits over and over. Each of us can create and access our own small network effect by simply collaborating with others and thereby adding value to both ourselves and everyone else in the group. It’s the concept that the sum of parts is more valuable than the parts themselves. So when we have like-minded people coming together and sharing thoughts, experiences and learnings with each other, we are able to create immense value and better outcomes for everyone involved. Are you creating a network effect that you can leverage?

What Does Collaboration Look Like?

The dictionary describes collaboration as the action of “working with someone to produce something”. It’s simplistic and I’m sure we have all collaborated in various formats in the past, but to truly make it a part of how you work does take deliberate effort. Because that “action” doesn’t just happen because you are in the same room as someone, it requires a specific action plan to be able to collaborate for mutually beneficial outcomes. Additionally, collaboration can often provide a new perspective and extra value, when you are outside of your day to day environment, with people who aren’t closely aligned with your specific project or in a different company/industry. Collaboration can take many different forms and is scalable from 1 on 1 (think a mentor or a coach), to small groups (like a mastermind), to larger forums (such as events). Start thinking about how you could build and leverage some of these formats. If you’re interested in seeing how you can create a network effect through collaboration, then I encourage you to check out our Collaborate to Accelerate online workshop. It’s available now and it’s free, and it includes some short videos and worksheets which explain the concepts and how you can leverage them. Get in quick though as this workshop will be taken down later this month.