We Need To Focus More On Networks And Less On Nodes

Greg Satell
Mar 3, 2018 · 4 min read

Building A Tight Circle

We tend to think of networking as a matter of putting yourself out there. You go to unfamiliar places, meet new people, give them a firm handshake and look them straight in the eye. However, network science reveals that the most powerful kinds of networks are made up of tight clusters of connections that are linked to other tight-knit groups through something called the strength of weak ties.

Exploring New Connections

For decades, creativity researchers have understood that deep domain expertise is essential for creativity. It is those that know a particular area very well who best understand which are the important problems, what approaches have already been used and what would be truly novel.

The Power Of Generosity

Making new connections is more than just having a general curiosity. People have to want to share their insights with you. In his study of engineers at Bell Labs, Kelley found that the best engineers were great team players and practiced what he called “small ‘l’ leadership.” They were eager to help others and understood “that it is often more important to make the assist than the score.”

Networking To Spur Adoption

One of the most tragic stories in the history of discovery is that of Ignaz Semmelweis, who pioneered the practice of hand washing at Vienna General Hospital in the 1840s. Unfortunately, he lacked the networking skills to gain acceptance for his discovery and the germ theory of disease didn’t become accepted for another two decades. Semmelweis died in a mental hospital, ironically from an infection that he contracted under care.

    Greg Satell

    Written by

    Bestselling Author of Cascades and Mapping Innovation, @HBR Contributor, - Learn more at www.GregSatell.com — note: I use Amazon Affiliate links for books.

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