Ambix Alchemy

WHY AMBIX? An Ambix was a tool in the ancient art of alchemy, essential to successful distillation. In a noisy world of Chattering (Hip or otherwise), Yammering, Jiving, Huddling, and Jostling, we look beyond the simple mechanics of interaction. We focus on the alchemy of Community, distilling wondrous insights from the crowd.

The way that people communicate is changing. “Community-driven companies will always win” said former Editor in Chief of Wired magazine, Chris Anderson, in this recent interview with BCG Perspectives. There’s a disconnect between the traditionally short term viewpoint of a company and the long term nature of a community. When a company’s behaviour is driven by City reports, quarterly targets, and shareholder expectations, long term solutions can be pushed aside. However, as Anderson says, “If you get the community right, opportunities will present themselves for the company.”

Great alchemy needs direction

The alchemy of a community doesn’t just happen. As a parallel, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries don’t just sit back waiting for serendipitous discoveries: they make their own luck with carefully directed, objective-led research. Nurturing and growing a community with a clear set of objectives for both the organisation and its members requires strong and focused leadership. A community tool is more than a new way of talking; it’s a new way to access new ideas and collaborative insights.
Of course your community tool can and will replace the acres of email threads between groups, give more people access to shared resources, and deliver some feedback to the organisation. Seen this way, it’s just another channel for linear communication. Sure, it can be effective in disseminating detail and making sure that access is straightforward. But the change in technology should open the doors to a positive change in engagement and behaviour.

A paradigm shift

Embracing community represents a real paradigm shift in attitude: absolute secrecy no longer guarantees competitive advantage. That can be a hard lesson to swallow: the instinct to play all your cards close to your chest is very real in innovative business. Many existing organisations have successfully combined layers of secrecy and open access: Chris Anderson quotes Apple as a good example, with the App Store layer for crowd innovation, while the core business is tightly closed. However you decide to play it, the need to be an active part of a relentlessly networked world is increasing.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to take a fresh look at your objectives and let the community help you to achieve them. Contact us to find out more about setting your goals and developing community leadership resources. Heat up that Ambix and see the changes for yourself!

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