Johnnie Moore

Monarchy or mesh?

finding a more human way of connecting in the networks we belong to
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

what kind of network do we think we're working in?

Transcript of this video:

Are you operating in a monarchy or in a mesh?

That’s the question I want to ask.

And it’s prompted by a couple of diagrams

of social networks created by the data scientist,

Valdis Krebs, that I was discussing with him.

And the first diagram that you can see here, might

for example, show an organisation

where the red blob is the CEO,

and they might see themself

as being at the center of attention.

Or you might be operating in this kind

of a network if you are,

or you might think that you are,

if you’re giving a PowerPoint presentation,

you’re at the center of attention communicating the same

information directly to all those spokes around you.

It’s a kind of a monarchy.

and in our relatively individualistic,

sometimes quite narcissistic culture.

I think many of us are operating

as if we are the red blob in the center of attention.

In a way, it’s the way our, our visual system tends

to place us physically in our, through our eyes

and in our bodies at the centre of the world.

And we’re trying to influence, we’re tempted

to influence well as many people as we can.

If you read some of the stuff on LinkedIn,

it’s all about getting as many of those connections

as possible so that you become increasingly a centre

of attention, a thought leader.

But the trouble with this is all

that attention can be quite stressful,

and especially if you’re starting to make mistakes,

’cause then you’re either exposed

or you have to start inventing stuff and become more

and more fake to cover up your mistakes

because of the, the stress that’s caused by having so,

so many people paying attention to you.

And also the stress of being over responsible for all

of those people, understanding and getting your message.

So you might prefer the mesh shown in this second diagram

of an organisation that Valdis produced.

Now, the red blob might represent the CEO,

but they’re not at the centre of this network.

They’re somewhere away from the centre.

In fact, it’s rather hard to say where the centre

of this network is.

And if this diagram is of the nodes in an organization,

of course it’s quite a simplified version of reality

because we all belong to so many different social groups

and networks, many, many interlocking meshes.

Now in a mesh, yes, we’re not nearly as much in control,

but we don’t have the illusion of power that it gives,

nor the excess responsibility.

We can see that, oh, actually I can’t

uniquely change this system.

The best thing to do is perhaps focus on the closer

connections to me and invest a bit more in them.

And even saying that to you, I go, oh, yes, yes.

That feels so much more comfortable for me

as a way of operating.

So, you know, for example, when I post these videos,

I try not to get too attached

to too many people seeing them.

The value for me is in the smaller number of exchanges

with people who probably already know me,

where they perhaps get to know me,

and I get to know them a little bit more

through the conversations and the comments.

So the mesh invites, I suppose you could say,

a slightly humbler

and more human way of engaging with those around us.

And this is probably not enough on its own as a video

to plumb the full depths of these two models.

So I’ll be probably saying a bit more about them in another

video soon.


Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Share Post

More Posts


There’s more potential in each moment than we realise

More Updates

Emotional debt

Releasing the hidden costs of pent up frustrations


Finding the aliveness below the surface of stuck

Johnnie Moore

A great haircut

Shannon Cooper posts about great customer service from his hairdresser. It’s a classic tale of a small retailer who really gets how to differentiate by getting the human factor right.

Johnnie Moore

Networks and complexity

I enjoyed Antony Mayfield’s notes on business networks. This line resonated strongly: We don’t grasp how magnificently terrifyingly complex networks are. We like to draw pictures of them and then

Johnnie Moore


If you’ve been trying to email me in the last few hours it will have bounced due to an overload at my host. It should be working again now but

Johnnie Moore

Life on the edge of parenthesis…

I’ve been off the grid here in Melbourne for the past few days. Viv and I were presenting at and participating in Andrew and Sascha Rixon’s Story Conference. Plus I