Entries in networks (4)


Connections and globalization

We enjoy -- and encourage you to explore -- Catalyst Fellow Parag Khanna's exploration of how shifting demographics and increased global connectivity are reshaping civilization.

His 2011 book, How to Run The World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance, contemplates a world in which non-state actors have as much influence on the course of world events as countries do -- in many ways similar to the 16th century.

More recently, Khanna has focused on connectivity and how it redefining how we approach issues of commerce and government. His new book, due out in April, is titled Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, views current market trends and international conflicts through the lens of how each is related to connective infrastructure. This was also the theme of his 2016 TED talk (while waiting for the video to post, you can read the Tech Insider review). "Connectivity, not sovereignty," Khanna says, "has become the organizing principle of the human species."

And although the transformation can appear chaotic, Khanna is optimistic about the future -- that beneath the chaos of a world that appears to be falling apart is a new foundation of connectivity pulling it together.

 -- Bruno Roche and Clara Shen



Catalyst Content Briefing

In this week's look at what else is new and interesting: » MUTUALITY LAB • Developing external knowledge sources and the importance of internal connections • The effect of population decline on the economy and the labor force » CULTURE LAB • A performance culture does not necessarily drive strategy execution • Developing and nurturing a successful intrapreneurship process » DEMAND LAB • Facebook develops tool allowing advertisers to monitor, determine relevance of ads • Marketers take notice of sensory-based marketing

Click to read more ...


Can you have too much team cohesion?

A recent study out of Ryerson University questions the conventional wisdom that the performance of workplace teams always increases as their social bonds grow. Instead, the relationship between team cohesion and performance looks more like a classic bell curve -- rising significantly at first, but peaking at a certain point and declining beyond that.

One reason for the previously undocumented decline in performance at the far end of the spectrum could be that "groupthink" hampers innovation and dampens a team's urge to challenge the status quo, according to an article in Strategy+Business. The risk of teams aligning their analysis with senior leaders has been explored in the past, but those posed by intra-team social ties less so.

There are benefits to team cohesion, including higher levels of job satisfaction, fewer conflicts, and less turnover, but the implications of the study seem to be that a balancing act is required. Team leaders and managers should try to find that optimal level of social ties that promote high performance, and to monitor and make adjustments if the risk of stagnation and groupthink starts to grow.


Image: Example team connection maps. Source: Baylor University

-- Segundo Saenz, Bojan Angelov


Social captital key to success in workplace: data analyst

An expert in network analysis and human capital states that social capital now trumps other skills in today's workspace.  Valdis Krebs, founder of Orgnet LLC, says that workers must distinquish themselves by their ability to connect, mix, and resolve data and content.

The new competitive advantage is social context – how internal and external content/information is interpreted, combined, made sense of, and converted to new products and services via diverse inputs, opinions, viewpoints, and know-how.

Krebs sees social capital stemming from the personal and professional networks of employees, and he defines social captigtal as the ability to find, utilize and combine the diverse skills, knowledge and experience of others, inside and outside an organization.

--Clara Shen