Over the last few years, I’ve written two books which explore the organizational network analysis ideas in depth. They are filled with practice advice and case studies for how leaders can understand and drive value through networks.
Driving Results Through Social Networks
Published in 2009, Driving Results through Social Networks: How Top Organizations Leverage Networks for Performance and Growth focuses on specific applications of network analysis that have yielded substantial business impact, supported by a broad range of case studies.
Driving Results Through Social Networks’ shows executives how to leverage seemingly invisible networks for performance and innovation impact. Through compelling and detailed cases the authors demonstrate how top organizations are deriving measurable business impact by cultivating networks that support strategic objectives—not simply building collaborations indiscriminately. The ideas are highly impactful and ones we are using on several fronts at Monsanto.Chief Information Officer, Monsanto
Rob Cross and Bob Thomas continue to break new ground in the study—and most importantly in the practical application—of social network analysis to organizational results. Their framework for examining networks is both specific and actionable. The ideas in "Driving Results Through Social Networks" will continue to help our leaders maximize their own effectiveness and drive Hewlett-Packard forward.Chief Learning Officer, Hewlett-Packard
Many of us spend a significant amount of managerial time trying to constantly reorganize into global, matrixed organizations and wonder why it's so challenging to assimilate and engage talent while driving change and innovation. Cross and Thomas suggest a very novel idea we are increasingly employing at Citi——that we should be focused on analyzing, building and leveraging the social networks that drive how work REALLY gets done.Chief Learning Officer, Citi
ONA has helped Ketchum improve the functioning of one of our largest offices, as well as one of our largest clients. It gives a practical map of relationships that you can use to find clarity amidst the ambiguity——I heartily recommend this book!CEO, Ketchum
The business world is experiencing tremendous pressures to be more flexible and able to harness the knowledge and power of people. Cross and Thomas provide important insights into how to address these issues by leveraging social networks. Managing social networks, as an evolving field of management practice, is going to make a big difference in business performance.Chairman & CEO, Maritz Inc.
The title of Cross and Thomas' book could not be more appropriate: social network analysis REALLY does drive results in organizations. As a practitioner of leadership development, I can say with confidence that it is rare to come across a solid academic idea that translates into practical actions for a firm. The ideas in this book offer not only new ways to understand how organizations work but, most importantly, new ways to make organizations work better.Managing Director and Head of Talent Management, Barclays Capital
Driving Results Through Social Networks delivers on its promise by showing how leaders can fuel performance and growth through better management of networks within and between organizations. Cross and Thomas use in-depth case examples to move beyond the hype of networks and demonstrate the strategic benefits that come from leveraging these traditionally hidden assets. Having used these ideas in my own organization I strongly recommend this book as a guide for leaders aspiring to obtain a multiplier effect on the skills and expertise of employees throughout a company.Head of Third Party Distribution T. Rowe Price Associates
Informal networks are how work really gets done. While they are likely your most precious resource, most executives don’t know how to harness their power. Cross and Thomas describe how to use them to meet your strategic objectives.Director of Design Learning and Capability, The Procter & Gamble Company
People-centered managers have intuitively believed that improving connections at work result in significant quantifiable business impacts. Cross and Thomas now give us proof this intuition is true! At MWH, we've used ONA inside our company and with our clients over the past five years to successfully manage organizational design, improve leadership and mentoring, facilitate change, and improve knowledge retention——we're believers. If you want to be a believer, let this book give you new insights and starting points for using this important, new approach to business management.Chief Knowledge Officer, Montgomery-Watson Harza
While individual know-how is critically important for our company, it is network-based knowledge and connections that drive our ability to act and operate globally, driving better business performance. Our best networks continuously analyze how they are actually functioning, enabling these networks to improve collaborative patterns and produce greater business value. This book breaks new ground in highlighting concrete connections between networks and business performance.Director of Knowledge Sharing, ConocoPhillips
Better networks mean better performance. That’s never been clear before this book, but now it’s obvious. If you know your business objectives, Cross and Thomas will help you understand how social networks can help you achieve them.President’s Distinguished Professor of Management and Information Technology, Babson College
Organizational network analysis has become an indispensable way of thinking and framing knowledge sharing within the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Intelligence Community. We have used it to baseline the level of leadership collaboration, to implement a “smart mentoring” concept to pull up those at the periphery of frontline employees to be more influential with peers and leaders, and to show that the greater the diversity of ones network is directly correlated with higher performance. We have taken from Cross and Thomas more than they have given——a performance improvement capability that is changing the landscape of organizations.Director, Knowledge Laboratory, Defense Intelligence Agency
Hidden Power of Social Networks
The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organization was my first book, which introduced how valuable network analysis could be to creating a high-performing organization, with specific examples of the steps and techniques to successfully run such a project.
Excerpts from my endorsements:
“At last! A comprehensive research-based text on social networks written for those who actually want to do something productive with these networks. Well written, down to earth, and very valuable, this book is sure to be cited and used for many years into the future.”
Larry Prusak, Distinguished Scholar, Babson College
(past director of IBM’s Institute for Knowledge Management)
“Informal social networks are the hidden source of power and influence and the real pathways for getting things done in any organization… It is a must-read for anyone who wants to be a leader.”
Nitin Nohria, Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Harvard Business Review
Addressing Collaboration Overload
California Management Review
How Boundary Spanning Networks Drive Organizational Change and Effectiveness
Leveraging Networks to Reduce the Costs of Turnover
California Management Review
Personal Networks of Successful Leaders
Harvard Business Review
How ‘Who You Know’ Affects What You Decide
MIT Sloan Management Review