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Friday, June 29, 2007

Number of Value network service providers increasing

One of the clearest indicators of value networks thinking going mainstream is the rising number of individuals and companies offering services under this label. As far as I know there are about 40 such "competitors" out there at the moment in fact. All of them are either using the term "value networks" as a sort of mutated social network analysis, or in fact leveraging Verna's brand directly, but then delivering only up to the holomapping, without any understanding of the importance of the next steps in the methodoloy, i.e. Exchange analysis, value creation and impact analyses for example. I am sure it will not be long before GenIsis suffers the same fate.

While there is in principle nothing wrong with this, indeed the methodology has been freely available on the web for years, and an open source version of GenIsis exists, the question arises whether or not these other perspectives create any value? In a recent project we found that other project members considered VNA so simple that they decided to "do it themselves" and it looks as if they will need about 10 times the time and money to come to a perhaps similar impact. I say "perhaps", because it is clear that the less a person has fully mastered the full methodology (as the qualified practitioners have) the more they will tend to oversee the subtleties of the mapping process itself and hence be drawn quickly back into the traditional mental models that are causing the challenges being faced in the first place.

So, a few years ago people were asking "What is VNA?", now they are asking "Who is the best provider for VNA?" While Verna is of course the unparalled "guru" and the qualified practitioners around her are the highest quality deliverable competence, there are many others that could be considered depending on the quality of the work needed and the budget available! The most important thing however is that whoever is chosen to supply VNA services, the Value Networks Information Object Model should never be compromised - it is the leading standard in the field and assures that at least the foundation for services offered is of high quality.

In order to support the market providing value network services this model has been made freely available and is supported by the Value Network Industry Consortium (sponsored by companies such as Cisco, Boeing and SAP). It is also the heartpiece of GenIsis - "Made by Verna" and "Powered by GenIsis" are the quality standards to look for!