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Harvard: A Practical Guide to Social Networks

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  • Bala Pillai
    BEST PRACTICE A Practical Guide to Social Networks Rob Cross, Jeanne Liedtka, and Leigh Weiss
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2005
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      A Practical Guide to Social Networks <http://hbsp.ed10.net/h/3ONHI/LQZXH/28/YR9SX>
      Rob Cross, Jeanne Liedtka, and Leigh Weiss



      Saying that networks are important is stating the obvious. But
      harnessing the power of these seemingly invisible groups to achieve
      organizational goals is an elusive undertaking. Most efforts to promote
      collaboration are haphazard and built on the implicit philosophy that
      more connectivity is better. In truth, networks create relational
      demands that sap people's time and energy and can bog down entire
      organizations. It's crucial for executives to learn how to promote
      connectivity only where it benefits an organization or individual and to
      decrease unnecessary connections.

      In this article, the authors introduce *three types of social networks*,
      each of which delivers unique value. *The customized response network*
      excels at *framing the ambiguous problems* involved in innovation.
      Strategy consulting firms and new-product development groups rely on
      this format. By contrast, surgical teams and law firms rely mostly on
      *the modular response network*, which works best *when components of the
      problem are known but the sequence of those components in the solution
      is unknown*. And the *routine response network* is best suited for
      organizations like call centers, where the problems and solutions are
      fairly predictable but collaboration is still needed. Executives
      shouldn't simply hope that collaboration will spontaneously occur in the
      right places at the right times in their organizations. They need to
      develop a strategic, nuanced view of collaboration, and they must take
      steps to ensure that their companies support the types of social
      networks that best fit their goals. Drawing on examples from Novartis,
      the FAA, and Sallie Mae, the authors offer managers the tools they need
      to determine which network delivers the best results for their
      organizations and which strategic investments nurture the right degree
      of connectivity.

      Subjects Covered:
      Communication in organizations, Information age, Knowledge management,
      Knowledge transfer, Networks, New economy, Organizational behavior.

      Bala Pillai bala@...
      Autopoietic Social Networks/Mind Colonies
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