R, Scientometrics, Knowledge Management, and Social Network Analysis

Driving Innovation Through Networks

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The following five practices can be used to overcome the barriers that undermine many organizations’ ability to identify and execute innovation opportunities:

  1. Create a network-centric ability to sense and respond to opportunities. Building awareness of who knows what in a network is critical for people to tap the right expertise at the right time.
  2. Develop an ability to rapidly test and refine an opportunity. Mapping decision-making networks so that emerging opportunity can be tried rapidly.
  3. Work through people in specific network positions. Engage people who are information brokers who can reach out to other key connectors in the network. The idea is to bring diversity of people to work on the new idea as it  is critical to its quality and to the ease of implementation (i.e. preventing the idea to be developed in isolation).
  4. Leverage energy. Mapping enthusiasm in networks to indicate who makes them feel energized provides a powerful indicator of where creativity and innovation are occurring.
  5. Ensure that organizational context supports collaboration. Simply introducing a collaborative technology, tweaking incentives, or advocating cultural programs to boost collaboration is insufficient. What is also required is the alignment of unique aspects of formal organization design, control systems, technology, and human resource practices. Specific cultural values and leadership can also have striking effects of collaboration.

Source: Chapter 3 of Driving Results Through Social Networks: How Top Organizations Leverage Networks for Performance and Growth by Rob Cross

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Written by Mathias

March 29, 2009 at 9:53 pm

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