March 2, 2006 4:41 pm

Further reading: Leading through networks

We all know it’s good to build networks. But when you’re leading globally, networks are essential. While hierarchies are important for clarifying who has decision-making authority and responsibility, they are notoriously slow in changing environments and they don’t always get information where and when it’s needed.

In this session we’ll discuss two basic kinds of networks that every leader needs: fishing nets and safety nets.

Fishing nets are for collecting information and other resources, such as customers or new employees, while safety nets are for taking risks and recovering from mistakes. In this session we will identify the importance of having the right network for the right environment, and some of the characteristics of those. After this session, viewers should be able to assess the appropriateness of their own networks.

Further Reading:

• For more on types of networks and performance in different situations, see Shaner & Maznevski, “Building the Right Networks for Business Performance,” IMD Perspectives for Managers, March 2006. (pdf day 2)

• For more on informal networks within organizations, see Cross, Nohria & Parker, “Six Myths About Informal Networks – And How to Overcome Them,” MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2002, Vol 43(3), pages 67-75.

• For more on your own effectiveness as a networker, see Anand & Conger, “Capabilities of the Consummate Networker,” Organizational Dynamics, 2007, Vol 36(1), pages 13-27.

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