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Rich social network = rich productivity

Posted by Justin Field on March 11, 2009


I was browsing through last month’s Harvard Business Review and lo and behold there’s a short article on social networking. The article was about the types of social networking interactions that are required at different times or for different purposes. A centralised structure works for discovery; but a richly connected network supports integration and decision making.
But that wasn’t the important bit! The important bit was recent research from MIT showing the productivity of poorly connected workers versus richly connected workers. Those workers with the most extensive personal digital (i.e. electronic) networks were 7% more productive than their colleagues. Of course, there’s no substitute for face to face, so the same study also found that workers with the strongest and most cohesive face to face networks were 30% more productive.
So I see corporate social networks as places for:
– gathering to share information
– gathering to integrate information and make decisions communally
– building a virtual network that supports and extends the face to face network

6 Responses to “Rich social network = rich productivity”

  1. I like this post.. short but very concise and informative.. It never came to my mind that there are different interactions for social networking and it is categorized. Thanks for sharing this insightful post. Looking forward to reading other great posts from you.

  2. Even with research like this, many businesses are afraid to let employees interact with online social networking tools. Of course, face-to-face communication is the best option in many cases, but digital networks help us connect quickly and can improve productivity if used in the right way.

  3. Triston said

    Great article, short and to the point. I think social networking can very beneficial to you , but can also be hit and miss. I think if you are willing to put in a little time the end result will be worth it. It definitely connects you with people you may not otherwise know. I like to use a personavita.com. I created an online profile where I can show my accomplishments, share insight and measure contributions. It is a great way to network and stay connected.

  4. [...] by Justin Field on March 19, 2009 The March 18 Carnival of HR has been posted. Go to the ic4p Productivity Blog to see the great list of postings around [...]

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