The Right Role for Top Teams

Analysis of informal networks offers a potent leadership model for the C-suite: Make top teams the hub of the enterprise, and watch performance improve.

Is This Any Way to Make a Decision?

Informal networks can play a pivotal role in how organizational decisions are framed and executed. But they can also result in too much collaboration—the kind of lengthy and expensive decision making that can cost companies dearly in missed opportunities.

Personal Networks and Leadership Development

A powerful way to improve executive effectiveness or promote connectivity in an organization is to work through each employee’s personal network. Research has shown that people in more diverse, entrepreneurial networks tend to be more successful. Providing executives and employees with a means of planning their personal network development is an effective way to promote connectivity. Such feedback can help employees identify biases in their … [ Read more ]

Together We Innovate

Geniuses are great. But bright, motivated teams are better. Unfortunately, many companies are pouring more money into generating ideas, but falling short on team-building, networking and collaboration. In a Wall Street Journal Online article, Accenture’s Robert Thomas and three noted academics dissect the problem and posit a solution.

How Top Talent Uses Networks and Where Rising Stars Get Trapped

Research confirms that a person’s network is crucial to his or her ability to get work done successfully. But many people don’t understand that networks require conscious attention and investment of time to be effective, and others make the mistake of thinking that the only thing that matters is size. This research report demonstrates that the best networks are strong on three dimensions: structural, relational … [ Read more ]

Charged Up: Managing the Energy that Drives Innovation

Leaders readily acknowledge that innovation is essential for their companies’ success. And they recognize that energized employees are more likely to produce valuable innovations than those who have become passive or reactionary. However, they also struggle with the best way to drive enthusiasm and passion deep into a workforce. One often-overlooked opportunity for improvement lies in the daily conversations and meetings that either energize or … [ Read more ]

Building vibrant employee networks: whom you know helps determine what you know and how your job gets done

In today’s flatter, knowledge-based organizations, networks of informal relationships are often more critical to performance and innovation than those of formal divisions and units. The networks also have a lot to do with personal productivity, learning, and career success. Helping employees build vibrant networks can have tremendous payoff for managers in terms of both individual and departmental productivity. The paper examines this issue in detail. … [ Read more ]

How Org Charts Lie

In an excerpt from Harvard Business School Press’ Hidden Power of Social Networks, learn how “social network analysis” reveals problems your org chart ignores.

Editor’s Note: For a much better article on this topic (and one of my favorites), see “Karen Stephenson’s Quantum Theory of Trust”