Your success is the a function of the value you bring to others. While that value may once have been measured in products delivered or services rendered, the future of work is an interconnected exchange of people, products, skills, and devices worth much more than the sum of its parts.

It’s been called the third wave of computing or third connected era: First, the internet created a network of interconnected computers. Second, mobile devices and social media added a layer of interconnectedness and the social era was born. Now, we have deep collaboration that includes AI, a growing fleet of smart devices, digital currencies and utility tokens, and people relating in ways that could barely be imagined just ten years ago.

New Rules for Defining Value in a Connected World

Internet visionary and investor David Walsh Bronxville proposes that an upgrade to Metcalfe’s law is needed to define the value of networks in the connected era. Networks are valuable not just because of the number of users they connect, but also the quality of content they can share, and the array of endpoints (devices, apps, systems) they can utilize.

With people, data, workflows, and machines all connected and interacting with one another in the cloud, leadership has a new challenge. While you have access to exponentially greater value, orchestrating and organizing this array of interconnected resources toward a clear vision requires a new type of leadership.

Define the Job To Be Done

New tools for deep collaboration center workflows and communication around a job to be done, not a particular person, role, or department within a company. The highest value work requires expertise from a variety of sources. By connecting an array of talents directly to the shared end goal, these tools enable faster collaboration and better results.

Build Networks, Not Products

The most valuable products in the connected era aren’t products at all. They are interconnected systems that leverage networks of people, software, devices, and increasingly, AI, toward a solution. David Walsh of Bronxville says that the best of the internet is yet to come, for those who find ways to create value out of all this connectedness.

Mobile devices and wearable technology have become so embedded in the human experience that using them is as routine as using a wristwatch to tell time once was. One doesn’t think about the device, one thinks about the problem it solves. Increasingly the solution now comes from a networked exchange between AI, peer networks, curated data, and the internet of things.

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