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The Wisdom Network: An 8-Step Process for Identifying, Sharing, and Leveraging Individual Expertise Hardcover – June 23, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With all the information available in today's networked world, you'd think that the average organization would be more knowledgeable than ever before. Yet as this book points out, many organizations fail to create atmospheres where that knowledge, or more precisely the wisdom that results, can be shared. So authors Benton (an executive director of the financial services firm UBS) and Giovagnoli (president of a consulting firm called Networlding) have set out eight steps—with plenty of tips in between—to help readers create a wisdom-positive environment. Starting with the premise that certain individuals within companies are magnets for key knowledge on certain topics, the book guides readers in identifying those experts, finding topics that will attract them, and then providing a positive environment or community that will encourage them. Next, they advise on implementing that knowledge and building incentives for sharing knowledge right into performance reviews. A final chapter reflects on how to nurture wisdom networks once you've created them. Despite their rather nebulous topic, the authors have created a practical if at times overwhelming handbook that might have benefited from a few more thematic threads to tie all their tips together. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"""The value that a world-class network of experts brings to a company, be it a fledgling entrepreneurship or large global organization, may mean the difference between failure and sustainable prosperity. This book introduces the concept of using Wisdom Networks as a differentiating asset. The authors clearly describe how to identify, build, and use Wisdom Networks to fill competency gaps, to provide insight, flexibility, and adaptability to change, and ultimately to compete successfully in a rapidly evolving world-economy."" -- E. Scott Russell, Managing Director, Diamondhead Ventures

""Whether by design or intuition, the authors of The Wisdom Network have incorporated cutting-edge theories of psychology into their book. They have captured and integrated the way human beings work naturally in groups into a model that will enhance and develop creativity, increase employee loyalty, decrease turnover, and ensure that corporations who use these concepts will become leaders in their fields."" -- Jennifer A. Scanlon, M.Ed., LCPC, Psychotherapist

""This book is outstanding! Steve and Melissa have provided a step-by-step guide to one of the most crucial challenges and opportunities businesses have--overcoming institutional inertia and silos to harness and focus the knowledge of their people. A must read for anyone interested in institutional growth and survival."" -- Jean K. FitzSimon, Senior VP and General Counsel, Whitehall Jewellers, Inc.

""As described in this book, effective wisdom networks can encourage talented specialists to interact broadly across functional boundaries to solve difficult problems, without special technology or high startup costs. The authors offer a way to move novel wisdom networks into mainstream management thinking, with a concise, step-wise approach that anticipates pitfalls and provides motivational hints.

Directed at top executives, and written in a simple, accessible style, the book can be used throughout the organization to guide and inform network participants and leaders."" -- Mark Eggleston, Director, Phillip Townsend Associates Inc."


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (June 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814473180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814473184
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,283,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Marty A. Michelson on June 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I like the idea behind the book, The Wisdom Network. The premise is quite simple. Traditional hierarchical leadership operates - more or less - in top-down or bottom up channels. But, various persons from within separate organizational structures might share keen insight and "wisdom" into numerous ideas or processes - if these persons would be enabled to collaborate and connect outside of the organizational flow-chart. "Companies already have plenty of effective project teams. What they lack are these highly innovative and diverse networks." (p. 11) Categories of traditional project teams - set over against Wisdom networks are outlined on pages 16-17 - and the rest of the book creates a framework for how these wisdom networks can be fostered.

The book is an attempt to get away from the "silos" that operate within so much of corporate and business structure - where persons contain (hide/hoard) their local knowledge and do not share it.

The book has much to offer in the way of ideas - which are great - but they are presupposed on the idea that the corporate culture (business or whatever) has enough trust and support to actually make it work. Networks do not develop, it seems to me, within (or between) groups of people where mistrust and deceit or being taken advantage of takes place. In fact, networks best function within mutual relationships of shared accountability and shared solidarity and shared effort. The ideas in this book are great - if only the larger culture exists to allow for the framework of networks that they articulate.

It seems to me that the only way the ideas in this book can take hold is if the leader(s) of the company/network/business can genuinely be trusted.

Great ideas from the book - if the correct culture already exists to put into practice their insight.
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