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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

THE POSTILLION: The Dynamic Virtual Enterprise – The Power of Many

The Postillion with Michael Phillips

Profiles in Innovation from Around the World

Bottom Line (Why you will want to read this Article)

• Learn how my company can collaborate with others

• Learn about collaborative business organizations and tools

• Learn how your company can have a much bigger business footprint

• Discover the “Power of Many”

Times are tough for emerging enterprises. You know you have top notch products and/or services. It seems that no matter how hard your work you just don’t get the recognition, acceptance or credibility to compete with larger companies. These are the “big stack” players who feel they can bully niche players into folding a winning hand. And sadly…..way too many emerging enterprises are being convinced they cannot compete. They have innovative products or solutions, but just don’t have the critical mass to stay in the game. The Postillion says ENOUGH! It is time for innovators and risk takers to unite! (Scene of angry mob with pitch forks in hand)

In this economy the time is right for emerging enterprises to come together to create a larger business presence and footprint. The infrastructure for this exists. With the ability for companies to form coalitions through the Internet and targeted social networks there is a potential for the dynamic creation of opportunity driven, agile, flexible, living business organisms that strive to create a symbiosis for success. This symbiotic business organism has been called a Virtual Enterprise.

The concept of a Virtual Enterprise is not a new one. It can be defined as a temporary alliance of enterprises that come together to share skills or core competencies and resources in order to better respond to business opportunities, and whose cooperation is supported by computer networks. Another take…a temporary network of independent institutions, businesses or specialized individuals, who work together in a spontaneous fashion by way of information and communication technology, in order to gain new business through a combined competitive edge. The bottom line is the Virtual Enterprise is based on the ability to create temporary cooperation and to realize the value of a business opportunity that the partners cannot (or can, but only to lesser extent) capture on their own.

All of these definitions indicate a number of characteristics common to Virtual Enterprises. The specific features can be summarized as follows:
  • boundary crossing

  • complementary core competencies

  • geographical dispersion

  • complementary nature of the partners

  • participant equality

  • extensive use of information and communications technology

  • temporary / dynamic / (for each opportunity)

  • no creation of a new legal entity

In the Beginning……..

The first primordial stew to incubate the Virtual Enterprise movement was spawned from the nexus of the Internet, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA was established in 1958 to address a serious problem. The Soviet Union had surprised the U.S. by the launching of Sputnik in 1957. DARPA’s main mission was to keep U.S. military technology more sophisticated than that of the nation's potential enemies. But this soon surfaced another problem that threatened this mission. Complex military weapon systems were simply costing too much, and some systems were unattainable at any price. The management systems of the large defense system integrators were simply responding too slowly to technology cycles and market needs. The DARPA research program provided a way to address this problem. DARPA incubated or enhanced nearly every advance in information technology, including the Internet. The result was an agile environment where small niche players could come together in a nimble, Wild West environment to rapidly innovate. It worked………..too well. The large defense contractors realized they were being out gunned and out maneuvered by uncontrollable opportunistic coalitions of hungry, aggressive, lean and bright companies. The behemoths could not compete with better, cheaper, and faster. Several quality initiatives were canned or dissected through blunt force lobbying. But the lesson of the power of the Virtual Enterprise……the power of many….was not lost.

Here and Now…..

There are many reasons today for emerging enterprises to form virtual coalitions:
  • Competitive advantage

  • Sales opportunities and combined prospecting

  • Joint Market Research

  • Joint innovation projects

  • Shared human resources

  • Shared technology and systems (Cloud Solutions)

  • Access to new sources of venture capital and cash flow options
As a member of a Virtual Enterprise you become an integrated piece of a dynamic business presence that is exponentially stronger and larger that the individual members.

Virtual Enterprise Movements

In Europe there are several groups that have initiated projects focused on Virtual Enterprises:

There is a large community of European Virtual Enterprises that gather annually around the PRO-VE conference.

The need exists today for emerging enterprises in the U.S. and internationally to establish a dynamic infrastructure that can accommodate the on demand creation of virtual coalitions to rapidly capitalize on short windows of opportunity. This infrastructure requires special access to collaborative software that allows for the sharing of ideas, development, opportunity discovery, teaming, partnering, joint proposals and links to supportive products and services.

Fortunately for all of us, our own TNNWC Group™ is leading the way in the development of this supportive, international, collaborative infrastructure for emerging enterprises. Through the creation and stewardship of TNNWC Group™ , the GICBC™ - Global Interworked Cooperative Business Community™ has been established to develop this much needed infrastructure. Your emerging enterprise can become a Member of this important initiative for free. Your membership gives you access to all products and services and also allows you to help shape the direction and design of this cooperative business community. Every TNNWC Member throughout the world becomes a full participant in this interactive, Internationalist Community - an open forum where Members can interact directly with other Members.

This “critical mass of mind power” provides a productive exchange of information, advice, support, mentoring, connections, relationships, constructive feedback, clients, partners, preferred service and product providers and many other power tools to bootstrap and accelerate your business growth, as well as the growth of every other Member’s business.

The GICBC™ Philosophy

Through cooperation, collaboration and coordinated teamwork, every individual Member’s ability to be successful is increased exponentially.

Entrepreneurial and emerging enterprises working in combination can have the aggregate resources, lobbying power, bargaining strength and other advantages currently enjoyed only by a few “Big Fish” conglomerates. When emerging enterprises unite in spirit and focus, they become a powerful force, with unlimited growth potential for the benefit of each and all.

Collaborative Power!

Read more about the GICBC™ by clicking on the following link:

Cooperative Business Committee™ (CBC™)

TNNWC’s Cooperative Business Committee™ (CBC™) is headed by The Joy Of Connecting Founder and CEO, Bonnie Ross-Parker. Bonnie, along with 8 other specially-selected delegates of member organizations will comprise the CBC™, which are the Active Governing Board (and dynamic nucleus) for the larger group, the CB Community™), which will be infinitely-expandable.

Read more about TNNWC’s Cooperative Business Committee™ by clicking on the following link:

If you would like to learn more about Virtual Enterprises the Postillion recommends the following book: The Networked Enterprise by Ken Thompson – available at

# # #

Michael Phillips, A.K.A. The Postillion, is the Chief Innovation Officer (cIo) for the National Networker Companies Group. He lives and works in Tampa Florida, and has over 36 years of experience in leading innovative development and trends within the information technology and business communities. Comments and suggestions for future Postillion topics are welcome and can be emailed to

For more information, please visit Michael's TNNWC Bio.

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