How to be a team player — without burning out
Collaboration in the workplace is more important than ever — but it’s making us less productive in some ways. Here’s what Rob Cross has to say on what drives us to take on way too much — and how we can reclaim our time and our peace of mind.
Explore Core Ideas in Beyond Collaboration Overload
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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 and I have partnered over several years, first at Ford and now at DICKS Sporting Goods, focused primarily on Collaboration Overload and Wellbeing. He has a unique ability to bring rich, credible research to light in a digestible way… he humanizes the science, and uses his expertise to help us all lead, work, and live better together.
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
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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.
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.
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…