Ecosystems are built on a foundation of shared goals and values. Without leadership, an ecosystem’s goals and its related benefits won’t be accomplished. As Katri Valkokari insightfully wrote, an ecosystem cannot be owned. Because ecosystems cannot be owned and because ecosystem leadership cannot be centralized, independent self-management is the only feasible leadership model in an ecosystem.
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Most of us are familiar with the idea of ecosystems surrounding hugely successful firms like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. But what do we really mean when we talk about ecosystems? And beyond that, how do ecosystems generate business value? In today’s economy of speed, business ecosystems play a central role in building competitive advantage, so it is important to understand how ecosystems succeed and how they reward players.