Collaboration & Networks

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The Top Five Habits of Effective Network Builders

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“Open-source projects and grassroots collective action are important sources of inspiration for 21st-century civic engagement,” says a new report, “Connected Citizens,” by Monitor Institute and Knight Foundation. The report looked at 70 projects and highlights five patterns for good network building.



The Collaborative Organization: How to Make Employee Networks Really Work

CIOs who learn to balance formal and informal structures can create global IT organizations that are more efficient and innovative than organizations that rely primarily on formal mechanisms. Organizational network analysis provides a useful methodology for helping executives assess broader patterns of informal networks between individuals, teams, functions and organizations, and for identifying targeted steps to align networks with strategic imperatives.



A Billion Brains are Better Than One

MIT Sloan’s Thomas W. Malone, author of The Future of Work, says that the smartest companies will use emerging technology to tap the power of many. Wikipedia and YouTube are the best-known examples of “collective intelligence,” where many people create a lot of different things independently. “Executives and everybody else knows about the new kinds of technologies that keep popping up,” says Malone. “But there’s a key perspective that a lot of people don’t really get yet, which is that these new technologies change the essence of organizations.”



The Social Side of Performance

It takes more than superior abilities or expertise to become a high-performing knowledge worker. It takes connections. But high performers are much more than “social butterflies,” say the authors. Effective knowledge workers actively employ three tactics to build deep relationships that will be mutually beneficial over time.


Confronting the Limits of Networks

As networks become very large, they can fall prey to saturation, cacophony, contamination, clustering and high search costs. Those phenomena mean that larger networks can, in some cases, have less value than smaller ones. The authors have identified several strategies that network builders can employ to maintain network effects or limit their decline.

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