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Time for ‘The Big Conversation’ -

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Networks Are Brain Boosters: We Need That

The Patuxent Partnership’s inaugural Strategic Thinking Brown Bag webinar spoke directly to the core mission of TPP: To foster collaboration among government, industry, and academia. In other words, networking.

Presenting A Network-Based View for Competitive Advantage, Dale Moore, founder and president of The Moore Group LLC, made the case repeatedly, the whole is a great deal more than the sum of its parts. And a network is a great deal more than that.

He doesn’t mean only a network of human beings, but he definitely does mean that too. Dr. Moore advocates a much more robust use of network science to address the formidable 21st-century challenges. Networks are required to effectively lead in this increasingly complex and interrelated world, to analyze its problems, to create solutions, and most importantly, to implement.

As an example, Dr. Moore said, consider the current coronavirus.

The pandemic vividly demonstrates that the whole world is interconnected. That alone suggests the analysis of the problem — the first step toward solving a problem — cannot succeed without an understanding of the entire network as a system. The science is putting that network together in a way where new insights and ideas are created and flow effectively, safely, and toward a solution.

Network science has evolved into a tool to analyze and evaluate complex systems and their dynamics. The goal of network science is to provide leaders with a fuller understanding of the internal and external forces working internally and externally to their organization.

“This is increasingly important at the strategic level,” Dr. Moore says. “Leaders need new models and lenses to help them make sense and give meaning to these dynamics and their complexity. The science of networks provides the foundations for systems thinking,” he said. He advocates pictorial models, which “help people to see how things flow and connect.”

Pictorials try to present a whole view of a topic, or perhaps display how information flows, or in some other way seek to provide as full and clear of a system as possible.

This bolsters our thought processes, which is necessary. The best example of the science of networks are our own brains. The more the science of our brain networks can be understood, the better it can be leveraged. Our brains are extraordinarily unique and capable with limitless potential to learn and grow. Developing that human brain potential while leveraging new and emerging technologies provides an unbeatable combination.

To harness this power, leaders need big data analytics and complexity science. These information-gathering and analytic tools help us stretch our thinking, and to visualize solutions to problems not yet fully in our grasp. Again, the coronavirus is a good example where understanding the spread of the virus through social networks, well-informed strategies can be developed and taken for action.

Dr. Moore brought the topic back from the global level to the on-the-ground implementation of system networks. Viewing the world through the lens of networks can help provide valuable insights for competitive advantage. Bringing network-thinking to the day-to-day corporate and project level, Dr. Moore offers these points:

  • The ability to see and analyze what is happening within organizations through a network-based lens can provide significant insight and foresight leading to more competitive postures and positions.
  • Taking a network-based view can enhance organizational agility, adaptation to the environment, and help organizations anticipate and better position themselves for the future.
  • Ultimately, a network-based view provides important insights and perspectives at all levels of leadership – supporting the cultural transformations and technological paradigm-shifts deemed essential for sustaining organizational competitiveness.

Speaking to the webinar attendees, Dr. Moore extolled the leaders to “create the climate and conditions that enable open dialogue and exchange, so that new ideas and innovations can emerge throughout your organizations and across your ecosystems. It is the diversity of perspectives and their inclusion that provides competitive advantage often beyond what simply subject matter expertise can provide.”

View more upcoming events and webinars hosted by The Patuxent Partnership.

Dr. Dale L. Moore, Ed.D. is the founder and president of The Moore Group LLC, Strategy, Innovation and Transformation Services. He can be reached by email [email protected] and cell 240-682-9077.

The Patuxent Partnership is a nonprofit member organization that fosters collaboration between government, industry, and academia to advance education through STEM-based initiatives; to advance technology through speaker programs, forums, and networking; to advance science and technology transfer through the exchange of ideas, information, and data related to technologies; and to increase workforce development through an array of initiatives.

To learn more about The Patuxent Partnership and its programs, visit the TPP Leader member page.

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