I am a success story of OPEN.

This is my first post as one of the Extraordinary Voices on Openfor.Business. I am very excited to share.

You may know the acronym OPEN by now – how it came about; where it was first published; and, now, on this site, Openfor.business, it’s being demonstrably lived out. A movement has been birthed.

OPEN = Ordinary | People | Extraordinary | Network.

This energizing concept came about through a generative conversation between Ted Coiné (@tedcoine), co-author of A World Gone Social and Suzanne Daigle (@DaigleSuz).  I encourage you to re-read page 111 in A World Gone Social, or listen to how Ted describes it in our conversation as he outlines some of the principles of OPEN:

  • The strength of the network depends on you – how much effort you’re investing
  • The network depends on how much giving you’ve done
  • The strength of the bonds depends on how much goodwill you’ve been sewing along the way
  • Good karma circles back – that’s the power of OPEN

Ordinary People 

In a reflective way, now that I’m aware of the concept of OPEN, here’s how it has shown up in my life with such delicious juiciness.

The two founding contributing editors of Openfor.business, Ted Coiné and Vidar Brekke (@ividar), co-founder and CEO of meddle.it, are together because of my practicing OPEN. I’m an ordinary person with what I now know to be an extraordinary network. I introduced Ted and Vidar over Twitter.

Here’s more evidence of OPEN: Juergen Berkessel (@polymash), my partner in business and life, met Susan Mazza (@susanmazza) on Twitter. (Susan is an exemplary model of OPEN). Juergen promptly recommended I follow Susan and not too long afterwards, we three had our first TweetUp in New York City. That was in 2010.  We have been very close colleagues since.  We’ve even worked together on a couple of excellent projects.

Extraordinary Network

Next, It was through this “ordinary person”, Susan Mazza’s “extraordinary network,” that Juergen and I met Ted, facilitating a deep connection. We three went charging off in an exciting direction that continues to blossom and who knows where it might end up.

In the meantime, in another neck of the woods, Vidar Brekke and I meet while volunteering for TEDxNavesink, in our local community. Within a short period, I introduce him to Juergen and then Ted, and here we are – enjoying and expanding our extraordinary network.

The Practice of OPEN

Making meaning out of the practice of OPEN comes down to having the following attributes: a strong interest in people and in developing relationships; a high value of caring and sharing; and a mindset of intentional follow through with purposeful content often as the conduit.

Principles of OPEN

Principle 1 – The strength of the network depends on you – how much effort you’re prepared to invest

You have to do the work. It’s up to you to recognize and act on valued connections, as they come your way. You can pursue the opportunities presented to you, or not. In our social age, extraordinary networks are everywhere. Choose wisely where you invest yourself, so it flows with grace and ease.

Principle 2 – The network depends on how much giving you’ve done

This is where your past shows up. If you have been generous in the past with your time and resources, you are more likely to have a mutually responsive network. If you’ve been generous with your ideas, it’s easier to reach out to people to ask for information, advice or a contact. From a shy beginning, I’m far more confident about reaching out and asking for a favor.  I am humbled by how willing my extraordinary network is there for me.

Principle 3 – The strength of the bonds depends on how much goodwill you’ve been sewing along the way

Even if you haven’t been as generous with your resources as you wish you had, and perhaps your interactions have been biased to the “taking” side, or to self-promotion, it’s never too late to start. You can share content that’s of value to your immediate network of “ordinary people” via your social networks. You can strengthen existing relationships and begin to build new ones.  If you haven’t yet, start introducing people to each other.

Principle 4 – Good karma circles back – that’s the power of OPEN

This is the beautiful part. The intrinsic reward that come from appreciating the value of all of us ordinary people who, by virtue of our willingness and efforts to share knowledge, expertise, friends, processes, opportunities and learnings, amounts to an extraordinary network.  In my podcast interview with Ted, he recommends Adam Grant’s Give and Take, a Revolutionary Approach to Success. I’m passing it on.

The Social Age

To be successful in the social age, it will be the givers who’ll reap the rewards from the social channels.  We ordinary people, through self-organization, are developing the extraordinary networks that will enable our best collaborations to deliver a world in which we will all flourish.

About Robyn Stratton Berkessel

Robyn Stratton-Berkessel is the “Positivity Strategist”. Robyn is an author, speaker, podcast host, app developer, designer, facilitator, and coach. She partners with executives and teams around the world co-creating cultures of ownership, empowerment, inclusion and collaboration. Her background includes “Big 4” management consulting, financial and professional services, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, retail, education and not-for-profit.


Robyn's latest Meddles

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