CHAPTER 5Attend to Networks

Work—and change—happens through webs of relationships.

INFORMAL NETWORKS SUPPORT THE SPREAD OF IDEAS AND innovation quickly and with surprising ease. When unexpected problems occur, which they inevitably do, it’s often the informal organization that rises to the occasion to resolve them. In fact, a great deal happens thanks to these networks, which are entirely in the white space of the org chart.

In some cases, weaving an intentional network supports change. One of my earliest experiences of true organizational transformation was being recruited and incorporated into a network. That network crossed departmental and functional silos and crossed the hierarchy. It expanded my view of the system, my access to information, ...

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