How is your personal ecosystem of relationships

Taking your most important relationships seriously

The current focus on ‘social networking’ might make you think you should spend most of your efforts warming up distant relationships and creating new ones. This focus on new relationships is good and healthly – however it would be a major mistake if it meant you neglected to nurture the strong relationships you already have.

One of the first books to use the, now fashionable, term “Business Ecosystem” was “The Death of Competition” written by James Moore and published in 1996.

One of a number of 'gems' within this book is the idea of a “Personal Ecosystem” (p268-271) or an "egosystem".

Moore describes the way Jim Henson, the inventor of the Muppets, has developed a highly effective personal ecosystem made up of three distinct groups:

  1. Kitchen Cabinet
    These are the guys who help generate new ideas.
  2. Advisors
    These are the folks who critically analyse these new ideas to see which ones are worth developing further.
  3. Agents
    These are the guys who can take an idea which has survived the critical assessment of the advisors and can bring it to life through effective implementation and action.

James also suggests a fourth group within a personal ecosystem – Decision-Makers .

In Jim Henson’s case this is a group of one - himself.

So what shape is your personal ecosystem or "egosystem" in, do you have one, how much effort are you investing in it and are there any critical gaps?

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Collaborative thinking: four key roles
In his unique book Dialogue and the art of thinking together William Issacs introduces the Four-Player System originally developed by David Kantor. This is a very important technique for supporting real collaborative thinking in teams.

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