Are you LinkedIn? Do you Spoke, Ryze, Jigsaw, or ZoomInfo? In 2008, will you get a Second Life?

If these social-networking concepts are not on your radar, you are ignoring a dynamic trend that could have a profound impact on key areas of your business, such as revenue growth, talent acquisition and development, and operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Wikipedia defines a "social network service" as one that focuses on the building and verifying of online social networks for communities of people who share interests and activities.

The concept of social network analysis (SNA)—the intersection of several key disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, psychology, organizational design, and graph theory—has existed in academic circles since the 1930s and 1940s. Although interesting, the study of patterns in human interaction has unfortunately been confined to academia, with little visibility or application to corporate leaders and their efforts in not only strategy formulation but also strategy execution.

In many leadership circles and boardrooms, there is seldom a shortage of organizational mission, vision, strategy, values, or beliefs (what I often refer to as "wall art"). But where it consistently breaks down is in dealing with concepts such as the strategic relationship dashboard, strategic relationship initiatives, and personal relationship development action plans—all of which lead to strategic relationship outcomes.

Strategic relationship planning is driven by a core set of questions around critical company business goals, including the identification of the most relevant and strategic relationships we need, critical relationships we already posses within and external to our corporation today, and a plan as to how to systematically, intentionally, and strategically add value to the social network we currently have to create leverage with the relationships we need.

This dynamic "Favor Economy" is the core motivator of the 17 million users in over 150 industries that have converged on a single online platform that didn't exist until only a few years ago.

Although many leaders have heard of LinkedIn, there are still many who are either under the impression that it is a fad that will simply go away or that it has little bearing on them personally or professionally.

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David Nour is an expert in business relationships and the author of the new book, Co-Create: How Your Business Will Profit from Innovative and Strategic Collaboration.

LinkedIn: David Nour

Twitter: @davidnour