Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Champions: the fifth leg of a starfish network

As with the starfish, a decentralized network can lose one or two legs and still survive. But when you have all five legs working together, a decentralized network can really take off. In their book “The Starfish and the Spider” authors Rod Beckstrom and Ori Brafman identify five legs upon which a decentralized network stands:

Leg 5 – The Champion The Champion is a restless pioneer in promoting a new idea. Catalysts are charismatic, but champions take the necessary steps to move the network forward to the next level. Catalysts inspire and naturally connect people, but there is nothing subtle about the Champion.

Characteristics include:
  • A natural people person and a good salesman
  • Able to draw people in and make them feel comfortable
  • People are fascinated by the excitement and charm of the Champion
  • Naturally passionate and lively
  • Tenacious, will not stop or let go until they have won or they are the best at what they do
  • Do not do anything half way
  • Inherently hyperactive and operate well in non-hierarchical environments
  • Tend to be more like salesmen than organizers or connectors; but, as a salesman, they help people get involved in some type of structure or activity
When a Catalyst joins up with a Champion to architect a movement, create self-empowered circles, tap into an ideology whose time has come, and draw upon a pre-existing network, they can change the course of history.

See also