an independent managed international business network of excellence, organized
as an economic cooperative. This means the following:
- As an international
network, SNI joins members at dispersed locations having diverse disciplinary
capabilities and resources. This gives SNI multidisciplinary range,
access to assets, and geographical outreach.
- As a network of
excellence, SNI applies strict admission and quality control to achieve
this standard of delivery.
- SNI is independent
of the Big Six consultancy and accounting conglomerates and, indeed,
of any vested interests. It is entirely self-financing and self-run,
and is beholden to no one, including its clients. Each project team
operates according to a separate "mandate", which terminates
on completion of the project. These features give SNI the ability consistently
to provide impartial advice.
- As a managed network,
SNI facilitates the exchange of information and skills among its members.
It screens all projects proposed by members of the network, and establishes
project teams and the modalities for implementation. It assumes responsibility
for promoting approved projects and for concluding arrangements with
clients and cooperating partners.
- As a business network,
SNI allows the pooling of its members' business interests in a larger
and broader entity, and the consequent development of shared goals in
a coherent manner. It also provides common resources, such as databases
and access to research materials and tools. A key business feature of
the network is the outreach it allows, including through this website
and through participation in various bodies.
- As an economic
cooperative - possibly SNI's most radical characteristic - members sign
up to a mode of participation and working together that is mutually
supportive. SNI's management system furthermore incorporates measures
that assure a high degree of accountability to members, without in any
way compromising project management. The prerequisites for an economic
cooperative to work are personal responsibility and mutual regard. Their
achievement results in a high level of personal engagement and teamwork,
which contribute to the excellence SNI demands.
An advantage in practice of the network concept just presented is stability;
SNI has welcomed several arrivals since its foundation in 1995, but witnessed
few departures. Another, and related advantage, is the collective wisdom
that has formed. A powerful combination of experience -- obtained in some
of the world's leading organizations, like NATO, the EU, ESA and companies
like BT and Siemens -- has been enhanced through working in SNI. Finally,
such a network is highly cost effective. The telephone, good PCs and software,
fast internet access and webcams are our critical working investments,
not Big Six corporate palaces. These practical advantages add to the inherent
strength of the network concept, and give it an assured future.