In fact, the need to create standards is a sign of the emergence of a network that's conscious of itself as a network. Huh? What I mean is, a bunch of organizations have typically been working together with a common aim for some time before they realize they have the same goals, are not communicating efficiently, and can improve their effectiveness by agreeing data standards.
This is why it's hard to “impose” data standards from the outside. You can promote the value of data standards and explain the benefits. But the people you're addressing need to have an awareness of their common cause. This recognition is often swamped by distrust stemming from competitive pressures and good old fear.
Mature communities recognize themselves as bodies with needs in common – even where they also compete. They register the symptoms of poor communications, slow processes, and systems that are resistant to change. And they see the remedy: industry standards. Data Standards for Workforce Credentials