Want a partnerships role?
Here's a tip from Isaac.
Networks evolve from distributed to centralized and back again
It seems the partnerships world is exploding into a vast and distributed ecosystem.
Then it will probably consolidate.
Then it will probably decentralize again.
At least that's the thesis put forth in this fascinating essay by Gordon Brander about whether and to what extent decentralization is an attainable goal.
He lays out how networks evolve in 5 phases:
- Random – Unstructured system which means random events occur.
- Growth — Innovation causes a major phase transition within the structure of the system (positive feedback loop = other innovations catalyzed).
- Consolidation — Growth rates saturate and the network becomes highly organized and optimized for efficiency. Hubs appear at critical points.
- Collapse — Random shock or new innovations demolish a keystone species, causing cascade failure within the highly structured network. The ecosystem then collapses into random structure.
- Repeat — The system slowly crawls back up the evolutionary ladder.
Then suggests that maybe instead of resisting or getting down about this cycle, we embrace and lean in to it.
In partnerships, this means looking for areas of weakness where one system collapse would affect others.
The goal isn't to try to stop system collapses, but to hedge against them. Collapse and rebirth are natural. The problem is that we build on top of things and create major points of weakness. If our systems aren't built with collapse in mind, we don't make them resilient.
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