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Saturday, February 06, 2010

BECAUSE I CAN: State of the GICBC, 2010

“Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.”

- William Arthur Wood

One of the early traditions we started at our now five-year old publication was that of my annual State of the Industry Address, in which I deliver a U.S. Presidential-inspired address usually in a somewhat parody-like style but with a “real” message. My intention with this article is to do exactly that, with a few major differences. The first is that the original Address was geared to a much smaller audience, the majority of which were situated in the United States; we have grown internationally and, therefore, I wish to address a world audience. Secondly, the original notion of a “networking industry” is somewhat outdated.

This term was originally used to suggest an emerging new industry combining common networking thought espoused by my peers like Dr. Ivan Misner of BNI and myself with new emerging technology. This did, indeed, happen yet these advances were absorbed by more mature industries such as information technology, media and advertising and marketing.

During my time as Executive Director of the Relationship Networking Industry Association (RNIA) we looked at the industry as an “ecosystem” in which people and corporations, through interactions would leverage their Relationship and Intellectual Capital for personal and collective gain, yet again, the term was not quite properly descriptive.

We seemed to get a lot closer to what it really was we were trying to define through my work on the book The Emergence of the Relationship Economy, where we described a new era in which social networking became integrated into our economic system.

It wasn’t, however, until my friend and colleague, Douglas Castle introduced the concept of the Global Interworked Cooperative Business Community (GICBC), that I felt we finally had a “container” for such a socioeconomic system of commerce through the exchange of both Relationship and Intellectual Capital. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I will be adopting this term in my Addresses moving forward. Why?

Because I Can.

Therefore, once again for the fifth year in a row, cue the fanfare and as always, no need to stand or clap as I “enter the room”…

My fellow networkers of the world, I stand before you today humbled in your presence.

I know that 2009 was not an easy year for most. When I addressed you then, we were already standing in the middle of the worst economy since the 1930’s, and while thanks to preventive measures taken by many members of our global community to bring about recovery, many of us still wonder:

  • How long recovery can be sustained?
  • At what price have we paid (and will our children pay) for it?
  • Why does such a small percentage of our global community continue to benefit at the expense of the majority of our members who have less money for retirement, less money for their children’s educations, lack of proper housing, lack of proper heating and/or cooling, lack of medical coverage and even lack of food?

How long must, we the people, be abused, controlled, lied to and stolen from by those few who hold us captive just to preserve a financial economic system that is broken, all in the name of “healthy competition” or being “too big to fail”?

How long must this ever-shrinking minority continue this ruse while being oblivious to the ever-growing majority of people who grow angrier by the minute and are beginning to sharpen their pitchforks and prepare their torches?

My fellow networkers, how long must we accept this?

Many of us have not, and I am happy to report that through networking we have managed as a global society to raise awareness of the human condition in parts of the world that would otherwise be forgotten, such as this year’s Iranian Election Protests.

I am happy to report that through networking we have raised awareness of the human condition in one of the world’s poorest countries; Haiti after their recent bout of earthquakes. As a result, again, through networking we, as a global community have raised in excess of $305 million dollars as of January 21st, 2010.

I am happy to report that the growing majority is only beginning to realize its own true power to make real change. We want real transparency now. We want honesty and decency now. We want cooperation, not competition…now. We want equality now. We want sustainability now. We want unity now.

My fellow networkers of the world…do you see that these values are beginning to slowly permeate our subconscious and reveal themselves to the world in small yet powerful ways?

Look at the new website, Blippy, where we can post our credit card purchases to the world.

Look at the recent Oh Yes We Did promotion by food franchise, Domino’s Pizza.

Look at industrial designer and social engineer, Jacques Fresco’s Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project.

This is just the beginning, my fellow networkers of the world. Change is coming. How fast it comes is up to us.

From the perspective of The National Networker Companies, we are doing our part to accelerate change. We have begun our own GICBC and have asked you to join us.

It’s as simple as clicking here – and many of you have.

It’s as simple as keeping in mind what my friend and colleague, Douglas Castle says, “Ranting has done more to change the world than chanting ever has.”

It’s time, my fellow networkers of the world, to turn our networks into focused cells of cooperative activity. Let us all rant (never mind the political correctness), let us then collectively focus, and then let us truly set out to change the world in which we live.

I know some of you out there might be saying that this is easier said than done…you would be right, but can we afford to do nothing.

Some of you out there might be saying that while anything is possible with money, we don’t have enough to make a difference. I strongly and adamantly disagree. To you, I ask this question, “Would you rather have all the money in the world or all of the influence?”

Many people wrongly make the mistake of confusing the two, but consider this…

Mahatma Gandhi… Martin Luther King, Jr…Mother Theresa…Albert Einstein…financially wealthy? No. Influential? Yes.

These people have each left their legacy upon the world and have proven that influence outweighs conventional Financial Capital. They understood one of the major laws of the universe…Financial Capital can be taken away, but Relationship and Intellectual Capital cannot. They leveraged who they knew and/or what they knew not for their own personal gain, but for that of Humanity.

Isn’t it time we did the same…each and every one of us?

We have networking…we have social media…we have the internet…we have the people we know…we have the things we know…

…we have everything we need right now.

Lee Odden, founder of the Online Media Blog says, “Social Media is less about ROI and more about INFLUENCE.”

I call upon business leaders to stop using the classic model of motivation by ROI at the expense of humanity and begin wielding their influence to improve humanity. Stop finding ways to separate fools from their money and work with them to forward their own agendas. Refrain from working to control your clients, employees and other stakeholders. Work to embrace a cooperative environment that allows for creativity and innovation. Support green movements. Support humanitarian movements. Support social change. Embrace the good, the bad AND the ugly within our organizations. Embrace those things that bring us together rather than divide us.

I call upon individuals to support organizations and causes that understand the value of a GICBC.

I call upon teachers to educate their students through the global humanitarian values of transparency, sustainability, honesty, equality and cooperation.

I call upon policy makers to look at the bigger picture of the constituents you serve and put their needs before yours. Turn away from divisive and stalling tactics that only prolong the status quo…it no longer supports the needs of the many.

It is time…we are at a crossroads in our evolution.

We can make the change toward a more humanitarian society or we can continue to destroy it and the planet we live on.

I choose the former, and I urge you to do the same.


Because we can.

Good day, good night and G-d bless us all.

Adam J. Kovitz is the Chairman & Founder of The National Networker Group of Companies, which publish The National Networker, provide member services and consulting as well as branding and social media domination.

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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy

Relationship Capital is the cornerstone of the Relationship Economy, which RNIA defines as “a measurement assigned to individual and organizational entities based on the relationship interactions between them, and the interactions they have internally.” I am proud to have contributed discussion of the Ten Laws of Relationships Capital to The Emergence of the Relationship Economy, now out as an eBook and in hardcopy. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is being considered a “must read” for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy of The Emergence of the Relationship Economy, please click here.

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Anonymous said...

Nowadays the online possibilities are endless, Web 2.0 's open source model changed online marketing. Discuss more at Young Entrepreneur Society with other small business owners

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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