What is the Delphi Network? Why did we start it?
As former financial journalists active for many years in China, Hong Kong and Japan, we understand the value of good information, and how hard it is to obtain.
Following the Great Financial Crisis in 2008, it was clear that the information we all relied on had many flaws in the way it was collected, analyzed and disseminated.
We decided that a better mechanism was needed, and the Delphi Network is our answer.
Our journalism background taught us that you can only trust information as far as you can trust the source. We learnt that the more you know about your source, the better you can evaluate what s/he is saying. Journalists get their best intelligence from people they know and trust.
We thought that other people might want something similar – to obtain direct access to information sources, rather than have it mediated or distorted. Our job would be to identify the sources and organize the meetings.
We would build a community of intelligent, engaged and decent people with different types of expertise, who could freely share that information.
The model should be especially useful in circumstances where information is hard to find – for example, if you are a non-Japanese executive under pressure to produce results in Japan. In particular, you might want a counter-balance to what you hear internally (valuable though those opinions often are).
The DN would therefore provide on-demand information to our members. We call this the Concierge service. A member can ask us about anything, and we will assemble a “brains trust” to answer his query.
Our job is to provide the best quality experience by making sure that members can trust their sources.
We do this through the “triple lock”.
The first lock is our invitation-only approach. We invite CEOs from MNCs as well as from smart and creative start-ups. We make sure to balance invitation between professional services companies and tech, manufacturing and FMCG CEOs.
Membership is personal rather than corporate, to symbolize the importance we attach to personal ties, and to emphasize accountability regarding the information and contacts provided to other members.
The second lock is that we never take commission. When we put a clever and trusted individual in front of a member, we do not want it thought that our motivation is financial. We want our members to be confident it is because we believe they are the best person on that subject. Therefore, our only income is through the yearly membership.
The third lock is Delphi Network’s code of conduct. All members of the Delphi Network have agreed to treat each other as long-term partners. This means helping members where possible, not commoditizing relationships, taking a long-term view, doing one’s best to provide the best intelligence, and maintaining confidentiality.
The final part of the lock is that our members have the right to veto member candidates. Our members can warn us if any of them has a history of fraud, violence or dishonesty which the directors may have missed.
If you are interested in good information, want to improve yourself, enjoy discussions, and believe ethics in business is essential, you should contact us.