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I Believe in the Value of Connectedness — 7 Comments

  1. Great post Tom. A nice inspiration for NY resolutions.
    Well connected networks being of knowledge, people or both (my favorites) have more value than siloed Knowledge and hierarchies. Trees are nice in our gardens but they do very poor networks. They growing toward single goals and in single directions.

    • Thanks, Bruno. I think of all networks of “this” type as people networks. It’s all about the connections we make, keep, nurture, and maintain that count. Connecting within the workplace can indeed help work around the silos and hierarchies you mention – and I talk about this in my article about the erosion of hierarchies.

  2. One thing that you’re pointing to here, I think, is that there is a need to level-set and quantify social networking skills in the enterprise. At present, few organizations are set up to enable the promulgation of social literacy through the organization, either formally (in the form of explicit training) or informally (in the form of informal, social sharing.) . Most people have developed their approaches to social networking in a somewhat solitary fashion. Assessing skills and filling in gaps remains a major challenge. Harold Jarche’s work certainly is in the forefront of how to best address this.

    • Thanks for the comment, Joe. I personally don’t suggest organizations attempt to quantify connectedness or social networking skills. Rather, I note that even hierarchies recognize those workers with high levels of connectedness, but it goes by a different name – they’re seen as influential and they tend to get things done by forming ad-hoc teams. They also tend to be promoted quickly in larger organizations, IF management is part of their career plans. I also don’t know if social networking skills can be “taught” any more than public speaking can. It takes practice, trial and error, a willingness to take chances, and being open to continual improvement. I do think good social networking skills can be modeled and fostered.

  3. Excellent article, try to get things accomplished in a company without forming bonds and trusting relationships. A good salary often does not make an employee more productive however; connectedness with fellow employees will improve the bottom line. This holds even truer with today’s generation.

    • Thanks for your comment. Workplaces can be complex places, especially when the employee population exceeds a few hundred. I find internal connections most helpful for getting things done and developing influence. External connections, which not all workers emjoy (some may be so specialized they can’t discuss workplace issues even in a general way), can also make work much more rewarding.

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