Chapter 1

Social Network Essentials

You know the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Who you know comprises your social network, which, in turn, contributes to social capital. Indeed, if asked, most people will say that social networks and social capital are important. However, you might be surprised to learn that many executives, based on their own experience or what they have learned in business school, do little to assess, support, or actively manage social networks in their own organizations.1 This neglect is based on the misplaced beliefs that social networks and, by extension, social capital (a) are not manageable (since social networks rarely show up or match up with the organization chart); (b) are the same as “networking,” ...

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