Social Capital – The Key to Success for the 21st Century Organization
In the knowledge economy, content is no longer sufficient – everyone has access to a multitude of content. You cannot compete on what everyone knows. As you move up the hierarchy, it becomes more difficult to compete on individual competency – everyone is highly skilled and experienced at the top. It is hard to compete when everyone is so similar. The new advantage is context – how internal and external content is interpreted, combined, made sense of, and converted to new products and services. Creating competitive context requires social capital – the ability to find, utilize and combine the skills, knowledge and experience of others, inside and outside of the organization. Social capital is derived from employees’ professional and business networks. The new competitive landscape requires focusing on between-employee factors, the connections that combine to create new processes, products and services. Social capital encompasses communities of practice, knowledge exchanges, information flows, interest groups, social networks and other emergent connections between employees, suppliers, regulators, partners and customers.
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