Why/LinkedIn Threats and Opportunities

LinkedIn is currently the world's foremost professional network for executives and professionals. In our analysis, its tools enable leaders to optimize between discretion and promotion of their capabilities to people all over the world. It is superior to any corporate directory because it is much more dynamic and has a diverse professional membership of experts. The breadth and depth of its expertise are unprecedented.

What does LinkedIn mean to you and your business?

Threat: Web 2.0's open networks are rapidly eroding the competitive advantage of enterprises' walled garden networks: open business models and technologies have created an ever-richer Web that enables anyone to learn, connect and act, often cost-free

Opportunity: your organization can learn to leverage open networks to supplement your internal resources. The trick is, open spaces often have very different rules and social contexts to which employees are not accustomed.

Threat: large organizations in mature markets with aging populations are pressed for workers, while younger workers use social networks as their personal portals and collaboration suites. This has created an increasingly disruptive dynamic within organizations, between generations of workers.

Opportunity: LinkedIn is an effective equalizer and connection point for workers of different generations to connect, share and collaborate. It has a very businesslike culture and can be an effective gateway to onboard older workers into the world of collaborative social networks.

Threat: the Industrial Economy's hierarchies are giving way to the Knowledge Economy's pervasive networks. This leads to increased dynamism and mobility, which elevates opportunities and threats for companies and executives.

Opportunity: organizations can access superior expertise at a lower cost in open networks. Workers and experts are more flexible and rewarded; however, thriving in this environment is synonymous with having a robust and varied network.

Threat: networks are like gardens: they need constant tending, and the gardener often does not know if or when a certain flower will bloom. It can be difficult to set actionable goals and expectations for new initiatives.

Opportunity: Calibrating expectations with emerging reality is critical when innovating, and studied approaches and tight feedback loops improve satisfaction.

Threat: population growth and organic demand growth is shrinking in many mature markets, and it is expensive and risky to penetrate emerging markets.

Opportunity: LinkedIn opens a growing expert membership to you and your organization, and it provides a professional environment in which to interact. It is very global; in fact, many of the brightest and most educated knowledge workers in emerging markets are members.

It is critical for leaders to develop an actionable understanding of social networks, which are profoundly affecting relationships among people at all levels, in all cultures, and across all generations and geographies

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*Not affiliated with LinkedIn Inc. or its website | © 2008-2009 by Christopher S. Rollyson


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