The Connected Commons is a community of business, organizational and academic leaders who believe that in an interdependent world, networks are increasingly the organizing principle of our social and organizational lives.

The Commons is committed to improving the performance and well-being of individuals and organizations by helping them build capability in areas where network insights can clearly drive performance across three key areas:  talent optimization, leadership effectiveness and well-being, and innovation and organizational change. This capability is developed through conferences and meetings, access to training and software for analyses, webinar programs, case studies and best practices, and leading-edge research, so that organizations can learn to drive results for themselves.

Building Capability through the Commons

The work of the Commons is a collaborative effort with member organizations. Members have access to the full set of offerings of the Commons, but we invite non-members to join in on Webinars (and training programs for a fee) and to browse our research.

1.)  Training programs to develop capability in two core areas:

  • Personal Networks of Successful Leaders: In a week-long interactive course comprised of five 1:15 hour sessions, Dr. Rob Cross shares network dimensions that two decades of research have shown to be critical to success.
  • Network Analysis for Business Performance: This series of six webinars will provide you with foundational skills in designing, conducting and managing organizational network analyses (ONA).

2.)  Webinars

The Commons hosts monthly forums via webinar, alternating thought leaders, practitioners, as well as innovators who profile emerging technologies and tools. The 2017 webinar series was kicked off on February 28th by Chantrelle Nielsen of Microsoft, who will discuss how to, “Address Collaborative Overload, Reimagine Productivity with Organization Analytics.” Other upcoming webinars will feature Dan Ranta (Executive Knowledge Sharing Leader, GE), Greg Pryor (VP Leadership & Org Effectiveness, Workday) and Matt Mazzarell (Data Scientist, Teradata), with more to follow.

Click here to view the calendar of events.

3.)  Case Studies and Best Practices

Each of the following three areas has a rich library of case studies, describing how network analysis helped organizations solve problems, and best practice guides on how to drive specific results from network analysis.

4.)  Network Leader Research Study

Rob Cross just completed a very significant leadership research project, interviewing 160 leaders focused on how they innovate, execute work efficiently, scale by building energy and trust, thrive, and learn and adapt. The leaders were at different career stages, divided equally between men and women, looking at individual contributors, first-line managers, managers of managers, and senior leaders. The objective was to identify the approach, strategies and everyday practices that enable certain leaders to consistently achieve peak performance.

5.)  Member Conferences

Thought-provoking, interactive, participant-driven conferences will be held for member organizations. Conversational activities will bring together the ideas and experiences of 25 – 30 companies exploring leading edge applications of the network ideas.

6.)  The Problem of Collaborative Overload

This hot topic was highlighted in Rob Cross’ article “Collaborative Overload,” which was featured on the cover of the Harvard Business Review in the 2016 Jan/Feb issue. Since then, it was selected to appear in Harvard Business Review Press, HBR’s 10 Must Reads 2017. Co-written with Wharton’s Adam Grant and Reb Rebele, the article explores the authors’ fascinating work on the phenomenon of collaborative excess in the workplace.

Rob’s work has inspired several other recent articles, such as the Economist’s, “Collaboration Curse,”  Inc.’s, “3 Signs You’re Suffering from Collaborative Burnout,” and The New York Times’, “Finding Ways to Thwart the Jerk at Work.”

To come …

The Commons is currently hard at work on several new white papers based on a range of programs initiated in 2016 on the following topics:  collaborative analytics, effective practices to reduce overload, social networks as drivers of purpose and well-being, and reducing high performer attrition through managing networks.


To be added to the distribution list to be notified of upcoming events, training and webinars, or to be added to our newsletter, please send an e-mail to Amy Lemley at

If you are interested in learning more about membership to the Connected Commons consortia, please e-mail Rob Cross at

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