In today's global, knowledge-driven economy, managers are increasingly charged with overseeing networks of employees who are spread around the world. While companies have spent millions on initiatives and technologies aimed at improving communication and streamlining operations - and formal "org charts" state in black and white who reports to whom and who is responsible for what - the truth is most managers have little understanding of how employees really communicate, connect, and collaborate to get work done. But Rob Cross and Andrew Parker argue that ignoring these critical social networks within organizations is leading to huge missed opportunities to improve learning, innovation, and organizational performance. In The Hidden Power of Social Networks, Cross and Parker, experts in "social network analysis" - a technique that visually maps relationships between people in large, distributed groups - apply this powerful tool to management for the first time. Based on their in-depth study of sixty informal employee networks in well-known companies around the world, Cross and Parker show managers how to conduct a social network analysis of their organization.
They use vivid examples to show how can identify simple, easy, inexpensive ways - from identifying key communicators to eliminating information "bottlenecks" to improving organizational processes and leadership practices - to maximize and leverage these social networks for success.