Direct Marketing Article
Web-Thinking: The Better Way To Win
By Dr. Linda Seger
Competition. We grew up with it. We were told this is the way things were,
are, and will be. But in the last twenty or thirty years, a new business
model has emerged which some call "web-thinking." Like the World Wide Web
and the spider web, it's an image of connection rather than competition.
And, like the Internet, many believe it has a better possibility of bringing
us success in our business.
Web-thinking grew out of an observed problem which many people noticed as
they were entering management and entrepreneurial positions. They saw the
problems that a rat race mentality could cause: stress, heart attacks, and
broken families. This can lead to dishonest business practices and bullying
to keep control and stay ahead of the game. It can lead to trying to destroy
the competition, and eventually destroying one's own business in the
process. There is a folk saying: "the teeth of the wolf determines the
fleetness of the deer." Some believe we only accomplish something when we're
pushed and threatened. It was presumed that this was the only way to
succeed, but many people questioned whether that was true, and questioned
The web-thinking model is being used, in one way or another, in virtually
every discipline from biology, to theology, to music, to psychology. Many
began to believe that our world was not ruled by survival of the fittest,
but survival of the co-operators. In the film industry, many of the most
successful writers and directors are known as also the most collaborative:
Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Ron Howard, and the geniuses behind Pixar.
In an interview, Academy award winner Ron Howard said that through the years
he had become a more collaborative director; it would make no sense to work
with the best people in the business and not to listen to their ideas.
Game theorists discovered that those who co-operated won more often than
those who competed. Why would the connectors win more often? Because
collaborators help each other, send clients to each other, share information
and resources. They are constantly nurturing each other's businesses. It's
said that if you step on everyone's fingers and toes on the way up the
ladder, there's no one to catch you when you fall.
Web-thinking is based on teamwork. Yes, there's still a goal, but no one is
sabotaging it, everyone is heading in the same direction and contributing
their skills and talents to the final product.
Exchange of Information
In web-thinking, there's an exchange of information between the team.
Web-thinkers focus on uniqueness, which can't be ranked, rather than
imitation. Web-thinkers see their contributions within a larger picture,
recognizing nothing is ever accomplished by one person alone. They connect
for success. Once the energy of connections begins, it begins to take on a
synergy. Synergy can be defined as the way of working together where the
total effect is greater than the sum of two or more of its parts. Once
synergy is generated and everyone begins to work together, energy moves out
becoming greater than anything any one person can do.
Linear thinkers try to preserve the status quo. The hierarchical boss guards
clings to his position, even though everything may be telling him that
something doesn't work. This rigidity leads to arrested development and
inflexible behavior. But life and business keep moving and changing around
him, and his company fails because he doesn't respond.
Web thinkers are flexible thinkers. They recognize that the way our business
world works is not stable and non-dynamic, but always in flux. The world
around us is constantly changing, and the flexible thinker is able to move
with the change. Like a spider web responding to the pressure of the wind,
we move within the dynamic give-and-take of progress.
At this time in our history, some say that linear thinking may be considered
to be the better way, but this will not last. Scientist Lynn Margulis says,
"In the end, life is much less a competitive struggle for survival than a
triumph of cooperation and creativity. Indeed, since the creation of the
first nucleated cells, evolution has proceeded through ever more intricate
arrangements of cooperation."
Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, said "The vision I have
for the Web is about anything being potentially connected with anything...[I
had] a growing realization that there was a power in arranging ideas in an
unconstrained web-like way...I liked the idea that a piece of information is
really defined only by what it's related to, and how it's related. There
really is little else to meaning. What matters is the connections." The same
is true of web-thinkers; connections are what matter.
Web-thinking recognizes that both the spider web and the World Wide Web is a
metaphor for the thinking of the future: we don't compete; we connect.
About the Author:
Dr. Linda Seger is an internationally known script consultant, keynote
speaker, and seminar leader. She has had her own business since 1981, and
credits her success to Web-Thinking. She has given speeches and seminars in
32 countries around the world. She's the author of 12 books including
Spiritual Steps on the Way to Success: gaining the goal without losing your
soul, and Web-Thinking: Connecting not Competing for Success (which will be
re-released in February, 2011 as The Better Way to Win: Connecting not
Competing for Success.). For more information, see