California Safari | How to Create Powerful Networks for Good: Inspire and Energize
California Safari is a travel adventure that helps students with an interest in understanding American business principles, economic ideas, and values and practices of innovators with a historical and comparative perspective.
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How to Create Powerful Networks for Good: Inspire and Energize

How to Create Powerful Networks for Good: Inspire and Energize

John Hagel is one of the thought leaders of the day, a leading business author and Chairman of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge. He says we are moving from a stable and predictable environment to one shaped by extreme events, where volatility is increasing. He predicts current methods of business decision-making are going to lead to failure as these methods were intended for a stable world. And believes this is a huge dilemma that is confronting the leadership of all organizations with more than 100 employees – education, government, business, and not for profits.

He highlighted the importance of being in a learning network – it does not have to be an institution – where you can learn and where the pace of your learning is accelerating. He said the closest example is “Li & Fung” the largest manufacturing company in the world with 20,000 factories. They are invisible, yet they make the products the big brands sell.

Hagel said, when you ask the partners of “Li & Fung” why they are part of the Li & Fung network, they all said, because this is the fastest way we can learn. In learning, you must fail a lot – if not failing, you are not learning fast enough. If you want to be a leader in the future, you must ask of any program or organization you join: Where is opportunity for learning, to experiment, to test, to come up with new approaches to improvise?

Becoming part of a learning network is essential to succeed in our rapidly changing world. For young aspiring leaders, you have to be strategic in freeing your ability to learn, from the prison of the classroom to be able to learn in the day to day environment. How can you do this?

Begin to create your own network. The fastest way to do it is to go after something of which everyone wants to be a part. Humans are programmed to want to contribute to a greater good. Maybe the people who didn’t contribute, when they were kicked out of their tribe, ended up trying to keep alive on their own and most of them failed. So the survivors were those who did “stick together” and teamed up to make sure at least some from their group could keep alive.

Inspiring other people to join you for the greater good is not enough – to create a network of learners – you have to have something to “learn on”. Set a goal that will energize the whole network – where they can see that ONLY by working together can they achieve something that would be impossible if they tried to do it alone. One of the greatest examples of this led to humankind’s greatest achievement “to walk on the moon”. John F. Kennedy set a goal that everyone could see and be inspired by, and to which they would want to contribute. He energized generations of young people and the goal was attained by a learning network of thousands of people – who have never forgotten the excitement of getting to the moon and how it made them feel a part of something much more than themselves.

California Safari is designed to expose young leaders to leading edge thinking so they can make smart choices and become part of a learning network for life.

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