Social network vs Formal Network - Secrets of the Job Hunt Career Podcast

With this picture (Knowing what we know), I hope you will understand the huge difference between a social network and a formal structure.

It is a rigid organization chart which explains who does what and where.

You can understand in which department people work, who is their boss and what is their job title.

But this formal structure does not say anything about the relationships within the organization and who knows who, who is friend with who...

Formal structure: rigid, informational, structured, 1.0


For example, looking at the organization chart, would you have ever thought that Cole is a powerful hub in all the organization?

He is one of the guy in the C&G department but he actually knows everybody and he is a real hub in the whole department for information and connections.

It would not appear on a formal structure but it would appear on a social network.

In their article, the authors explain the situation the company is facing:

"A particular surprise came from Cole’s central role: over time, his reputation for expertise and responsiveness had made him a critical source for all sorts of information. Indeed, he was the only point of contact between members of the production division and the rest of the network. Through no fault of his own, the number of informational requests he received and the number of projects in which he was involved had become excessive, which not only overburdened him but also turned him into a bottleneck.

The social network diagram made it very clear that if Cole were hired away, the company would lose both his knowledge and the relationships he had established, which were holding the network together. As a result of the analysis, the organization decided to categorize the requests that Cole received and then allocate some of these informational or decision domains to other executives."

A social network is a lively structure

It is made of nodes (people) and ties (relationships) which allows you to understand all the flow of information and connections in any organization.

Social networks are dynamic, interactive, supportive, and lay at the heart of any organization and people.

In our increasingly flat world, where structures and people are managed on a project basis, social networks are not only important but key. How to get information as quickly as possible, how to get problems solved?

Have you ever thought of the coffee machine social network or even the smokers social network (now that they have to smoke outside) in your company?

That is the reason why social networks online are so powerful: they allow you to visualize and use your connections in a clever way.

Posted via web from AndyWergedal