The Work Network. (With whom do you exchange information as part of your daily work routines?) The everyday contacts of routinized operations represent the habitual, mundane resting pulse of a culture. The functions and dysfunctions; the favors and flaws always become evident here, says Professor Stephenson.
The Social Network. (With whom do you check in, inside and outside the office, to find out what is going on?) This is important primarily as an indicator of the trust within a culture. Healthy organizations are those whose numbers fall within a normative range, with enough social tensile strength to withstand stress and uncertainty, but not so much that they are overdemanding of peoples personal time and invested social capital.
The Innovation Network. (With whom do you collaborate or kick around new ideas?) There is a guilelessness and childlike wonderment to conversations conducted in this network, as people talk openly about their perceptions, ideas, and experiments. For instance, Why do we use four separate assembly lines where three would do? Or, Hey, lets try it and see what happens! Key people in this network take a dim view of tradition and may clash with the keepers of corporate lore and expertise, dismissing them as relics.
The Expert Knowledge Network. (To whom do you turn for expertise or advice?) Organizations have core networks whose key members hold the critical and established, yet tacit, knowledge of the enterprise. Like the Coca-Cola formula, this kind of knowledge is frequently kept secret. Key people in this network are often threatened by innovation; theyre likely to clash with innovators and think of them as undisciplined.
The Career Guidance or Strategic Network. (Whom do you go to for advice about the future?) If people tend to rely on others in the same company for mentoring and career guidance, then that in itself indicates a high level of trust. This network often directly influences corporate strategy; decisions about careers and strategic moves, after all, are both focused on the future.
The Learning Network. (Whom do you work with to improve existing processes or methods?) Key people in this network may end up as bridges between hubs in the expert and innovation networks, translating between the old guard and the new. Since most people are afraid of genuine change, this network tends to lie dormant until the change awakens a renewed sense of trust. It takes a tough kind of love, says Professor Stephenson, to entrust people to tell you what they know about your established habits, rules, and practices.
I wonder if there's now a 7th media / blog network or if media / blogs just become second aspects of each of these networks.
CategoryNetworks, CategoryKnowledgeManagement, CategoryEpistemology