Networks are hidden drivers of individual, team and organizational success.
But most of us are making mistakes. We are missing out on the power of who we know and how we interact. Our organizations and teams underperform. Projects falter.
The good news is that invisible, informal networks can be seen, cultivated and leveraged to dramatically improve innovation, performance and well-being.
Rob Cross has studied the underlying network dynamics of effective organizations and the collaborative practices of high performers for more than 20 years. Through research and writing, speaking and consulting, and courses and tools, Rob’s network strategies are transforming the way people lead, work and live in a hyper-connected world.
Network Strategies for Individuals, Teams and Organizations
Explore five powerful applications of network science that drive individual, team and organizational success.
What future-focused leaders say about Rob …
Rob is a true pioneer in taking organizational network analysis and in seeing its possibilities for leadership, innovation and talent management. His work on Collaborative Overload has been very helpful to us as we have sought to help leaders navigate the increasingly hyper-connected, always-on world of work. His commitment to us over the years as a thought partner and practitioner has been invaluable.
Rob has a unique ability to be both a credible subject-matter expert as well as a relatable human—and this isn’t always a balance that’s easy to strike! Ford began partnering with Rob several years ago, when our CEO and leadership team wanted to learn more about Collaborative Overload and working effectively within a global network. He instantly connected with our leaders and earned credibility with our HR team.
Rob Cross has distilled a significant body of scientific evidence and research on network analysis and made it practical and impactful for leaders at all levels. This impact is often within days, and it improves their own performance and well-being and allows the entire organization to operate with speed to drive (and scale) innovation through high-quality collaboration. I have seen this impact first-hand as we have partnered with Rob over the last 2 years.
Rob’s work has ushered in a whole new management science domain to help organizations better understand critical business issues and drive bottom-line impact through the lens of social capital evaluation. He has the rare ability of being able to conduct complex studies and then express his findings in a crisp, compelling and practical manner. His research has significantly influenced my personal views of how to position talent for optimal success.
Cigna’s emphasis on organizational and personal leadership networks has resulted in improved business operations, leadership pipeline development and talent effectiveness. These results have been amplified by the expertise and corporate acumen of Rob Cross, an essential element of our work in this space. Whether working with new Cigna leaders or executives working to establish ever-better business and workplace efficiencies, Rob has distinguished himself as a “must have” member of the conversation and team.
Rob’s twenty-plus years of academically rigorous research makes him the unmatched leader in understanding the personal and organizational strategies required to succeed in the emerging Connected Economy. Over my career, I have seen his presentation style and counter-intuitive insights mesmerize and energize the most executive C-suite teams.
The Network Insights Blog
Contrary to popular belief, an effective network is not usually a big one. Success doesn’t come from having the most connections. Creating and engaging targeted relationships is the key to personal performance.
Most people know that building their network is important for success in a new role. But the advice they get about how to do it is probably wrong.
Traditional team principles and common methods for collaboration are ineffective today when people are staffed across so many teams with increasingly short lifecycles. Managing networks inside and outside of teams is critical create effective agile groups…
Identifying and working through informal opinion leaders—before a restructuring, strategic reorientation or launching a significant change initiative—can improve uptake of a change and increase the odds of success.
Innovation requires people, ideas, information and resources to flow across networks—and a context to support solutions from idea to reality. Companies can unleash innovation through employee networks using network analysis to identify possibilities and then leveraging…
Always-on work cultures, encroaching technology, demanding bosses, difficult clients and inefficient coworkers do create collaborative overload. But there is another enemy: your own mindsets and habits.
Social capital is the missing piece of the talent equation. It’s time to re-think onboarding and invest in new-role success well beyond the first 100 days.
Groups morph into predictable patterns of collaboration that undermine performance if collaboration is not purposefully managed. More successful teams avoid or correct 6 common network patterns that cause lackluster performance or failure.
With organizational network analysis, leaders can analyze economic costs and benefits of collaboration and use these insights to redefine hierarchical structures and craft roles and processes to deliver agility and efficiency.
Innovations of substance almost always occur through creative friction and re-combinations of existing ideas in networks. More successful organizations drive innovation through critical network roles and processes to generate ideas and get the best ones into…
The right network leads to higher productivity and early wins, which help people build a solid reputation and position themselves for future success. But the path is different for different types of role transitions.
Developing high-quality relationships is critical to team success in dynamic times. When employees experience trust, purpose and a sense of energy in their network, they are more likely to be high performers, give greater effort, report…
Most culture transformations begin top-down, but culture is experienced locally in networks. More successful culture-change efforts use organizational network analysis to drive diffusion of desired values and behaviors deep into an organization.
For innovation to happen, people need to feel safe to speak up, ask questions, admit they don’t know and contribute ideas. More effective leaders create cultures of trust to promote the collaboration and risk-taking needed to…
Happier people tend to define how they want to live, then create networks that support their choices. They are proactive to clarify what they want to include in their lives and invest in those activities with…
Four critical networking practices distinguish high-performing women. Women can adapt their own networks to accelerate transitions into new roles and thrive their careers.
Team success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Leaders who proactively shape the organizational ecosystem in 6 ways are likely to have an engaged team, a better work product and smoother implementation of ideas.
Organizational network analysis (ONA) is a tool to measure and graph connections and patterns of collaboration between people within and across organizations. Leading companies use ONA to amplify people analytics and make data-driven decisions to enact…