self-synchronized swarm

“Thus insurgent operational art remains fundamentally a matter of aggregating dispersed tactical actions by small groups and individuals, and orchestrating their effects into a strategically significant campaign sequence.   This was taken from “Counterinsurgency Redux” written by David Kilcullen (you can read the entire paper at (  I was struck at the similarity I see in this description with the ideas that we promote now with social networking.  The real kicker is that the Kilcullen is an expert in guerrilla warfare and has written a number of papers and even books on the topic.

This reinforces Miyamoto Musashi from The Book of Five Rings (1645) in which is states “from one things, know ten thousand”.  We can be so much more effective and learn more quickly if we are able and willing to apply concepts we learn across different areas of our lives.  We can see this now in the terms of network theory for telecommunications and the networking we all do in business.  All of the groups and ideas that we see that are successful (like linkedin and facebook) are utilizing existing concepts from technology.  

If we want to be more effective at building networks, then we need to study these different ideas and figure out how to leverage them in our lives.  The best of us are the ones who will actively engage with others and create our own strategies for connecting.  In addition, we need to develop a reason and goal for this connecting.  I think the key is that we can no longer have a hard and fast set of objectives but more of a “fuzzy vision” that guides us so we do not miss opportunities when they present themselves.  If we are constantly moving and connecting to others, there will be times when sparks fly and the right people meet…it is then we have to be aware and take action.

I believe all of us are more or less transitioning into guerrilla warfare when it comes to work and careers.  We are no longer part of the large organization but now realize that our success is based on our own abilities and cannot be delegated to others.  If this is true, we all need to be more schooled in the art of the counterinsurgency…



Filed under Emergence, Strategy, Thinking about thinking

2 responses to “self-synchronized swarm

  1. This is an amazing perspective Perry!

    I’ve seen cases that can relate to this. A few months ago while running a basic traffic analysis a small and very successful Promotional Products vendor’s website. The site was well done and had a robust e Commerce component that was converting visitors. When looking at the analytics, I noticed that above Google and Yahoo, the number one referring URL was It was actually the top traffic source for the months of September through December in 2008. The company had never once run a single PPC advertisement on the LinkedIn, and at that point, had not yet set up a company page.

    What they did have though was better. Nine active company associates out building their own personal networks through active participation and as a follow up activity after meetings and trade shows as an additional touch point with the prospects. The teams combined efforts had resulted in greater visibility (in feeds, communities, message interactions, SERP’s, referrals) for their company on LinkedIn. This led to more click through traffic coming from other users on LinkedIn.

    Ecommerce sales had been doing well and in terms of dollars spent, the total cost to acquire this additional social network traffic was zero.

  2. Pingback: Small Business in the Social Guerrilla Marketplace |

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