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The last time I began to read a (sort of) work-related book – Bacteria to Bach and Back – I’d thought I’d picked a safe bet since it got reviews from two very different ends of my magazine reading spectrum.

Alas, I got confused intelligence & consciousness (artificial, or other). I never thought there was  difference but, it seems there’s more to it than: if you’re very intelligent (like Bach) you’re capable of being very conscious, if you’re not very intelligent (like bacteria) you’ve got no chance in the consciousness game. However, the book out-right refused to tell me what that “more” is; the main thing I became conscious of was being confused. So I gave-up.

Better success with my new book though, since @JamesMarland’s set-up a work book club which I’m running to catch-up with: I should have finished The Network Imperative but not quite.  The good news is, with this book, I get what’s going on. Yes, my company has a network – The Ariba Network – I knew that & what it does and how it fits in with the rest of the tech-sphere. So, even without @MVollmer1 having put it in context – I wasn’t confused. Excellent. Plus, I not only understood, I also learned things from The Network Imperative:

  • The thing to be is a Network Orchestrator – especially one whose orchestration provides access to network capital (like where you’re, probably, reading this – LinkedIn)
  • People are key to this because, unlike other assets we appreciate overtime – because we learn, unlike my chair which just gets shabbier, depreciates in value and has to be replaced.
  • Because of the connectivity which the network enables people find out things they otherwise wouldn’t  since they communicate and spark ideas off each other’s communications think of new things and solve problems that they didn’t know had a solution in reach and help others get those same solutions. That’s the difference between being allowed non interactive web-use as your Desert Island Discs luxury (a select group, of two, admittedly, but one is a hero of mine – guess who!?).

My last learning point took me far away from Desert Island Discs and Sunday brunch thoughts of palm trees right back to my day job and …The Ariba Open Platform (what else?!).

Actually with its Solution Extensions, Open APIs and Developer Portal this is exactly the sort of thing which the authors of The Network Imperative had in mind and much more fun than being in Splendid Isolation, with, or without, it as one of my favourite 8 records (records as in discs, not PO line items 🙂

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