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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Value Networks: Seeing the unseen value of intangibles, 11 Nov. 2003
By 
Dave Patrick "dave21185" (Healthy Enterprise, Nairn, Highland, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Future of Knowledge: Increasing Prosperity Through Value Networks (Paperback)
In today’s crowded marketplace of business publications, it takes something that bit special to stand out and be noticed. A decade ago, Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline was widely regarded as one of the seminal business books of the 1990’s, introducing to an appreciative and expanding audience the integrated concepts of systems thinking and the “learning organisation”. This new book by fellow American author Verna Allee carries the potential to compete for similar accolades in this current decade.
The idea that there should be any enthusiasm about another book on knowledge would normally be questionable, given the number of books published on knowledge management in recent years, and the attendant hype accompanying such new challenges to business thinking. What makes Allee’s contribution special is the elegant manner in which she takes a living systems approach to connect knowledge and value in a profound yet pragmatic way.
The focus on value is particularly appropriate for business given that profitability, the lifeblood of any commercial enterprise, depends on the discovery and creation of value. With the new era of the “extended enterprise” model of the organisation, in that any company competes in a supply chain and wider business ecosystem of customers, suppliers, joint venture partners and other stakeholders, the value network approach is a potentially powerful one in helping to identify, investigate and, ultimately exploit key relationships within the network.
Where Allee perhaps scores highest with her approach is in her treatment of intangible deliverables within value networks, and the introduction of a simple, practical set of tools to assist with the mapping of both intangible and tangible relationships. Because value networks take a living systems perspective, it deals with real people – either individuals, small groups or teams, business units, organisations, industry groups, communities or nation states – dealing with value exchanges flowing between participants in the network, linked by arrows showing the transactions and deliverables of value exchanges.
The power of value networks lies in its simplicity and practicality. As well as providing a structured framework for dealing with intangibles, it also raises interesting questions and challenges assumptions about the real nature of networks in action and the value being created (or destroyed) within these networks.
If business leaders aspire to understand the deeper dynamics of value creation in their extended enterprise networks, The Future of Knowledge will provide them with the philosophy, the roadmap and the tools to guide them.
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The Future of Knowledge: Increasing Prosperity Through Value Networks
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