Tortoriello shares with his readers how leaders can increase innovation within their organizations by encouraging the sharing of information across social and geographical spaces. The theory is based on understanding the informal networks within the company and being able to identify the key players that connect individuals with network range and who can serve as conduits for information. There are four key factors in an effective network: boundary spanning, tie strength, network range, and network structure and cohesion. The power of your network can be harnessed by analyzing and mapping vital informal networks, identifying areas of weakness, bolstering tie strength, range and cohesion and by knowing when not to push it too far. The best way to leverage the power of a network is by listening to your people, hearing their needs, and by helping them create their own conditions for improving network connections.
As a publicist, I’m often in the role of bridging networks. My personal ties are strong, but I’m limited to a few conduits in each network bubble. This means that I’m highly reliant on a few people and have little access to the networks outside of these individuals. I think what resonates most for me by Marco’s research is that it is the information shared that really matters. The network is just a channel in which we have access to better information and the potential for greater innovation. I’m enlightened by his practical strategy for improving network strength and bandwidth.
Tortoriello, M. (2014). The Importance of Strong Ties: Understand Your Network and Let Knowledge Flow. Expert Insight. pp 58–65.