Definition: a value network is a set of roles and interactions that generates a specific business, economic or social good.

By this definition any group of people engaged in a purposeful activity can be understood as a ‘value network’.  Creating value requires more than simple social connections. Social networks are connections of people who share an interest or affiliation, but they are not organized to get something done. When people want to accomplish something together they organize their work together in a role-based, purposeful network – and this is what we refer to as a value network.  I believe that everyone involved with the  ARRC  is part of our value network, and it is important each of us understand the networks we are part of and the values we hold.

Verna Allee with Oliver Schwabe have written a book focusing on value networks and their importance for collaboration.  There is also  a website with a lot of information about the approach – I encourage anyone with an interest in this topic to take some time going through the website as it provides insight and resources to assist us as we try to understand values to inspire and encourage collaborative action.

Siwan (with thanks to Jacqui Thorburn for passing on this link)

Also if you want to watch a brilliant TED talk on the value of networks follow this link to view Nicholas Christakis talk about networks, obesity, happiness and our need for social connection.