Being able to navigate any ecosystem, with its characteristics, dynamics, key players, standards, preferences and unwritten rules, is a prerequisite for social mastery. It gives access to possibly otherwise scarce resources, unexplored markets and channels and agile, possibly asset-free business models. It also taps into a crowd IQ that goes way beyond what even the brightest enterprise could develop on its own.

It also requires particularly flexible technology options, as connections may come and go in an instant. The IT platform needs to provide services to leverage a new breed of connections at top speed. The blockchain is an example of a technology framework that substantiates the notion of smart, collaborative contracts; these are distributed, open, transparent and rock-solid safe.

The latter capability cannot be emphasized enough; being successfully connected depends on mutual trust. And trust is based on an equally divided mix of clarity about what’s to be expected at both sides and the measures that have been taken – both in terms of technology and governance – to ensure the right outcome.

You, Me, Us, We, It. All together now.