Networks are essential for collaboration, innovation, and career development. But too many executives have networks that, while they may be large, don't have enough diversity to be effective.
For the past fifteen years, I have asked the executives I teach to list the people with whom they have discussed important work matters over the past few months. Then, I ask them to fill out a grid in which they identify who knows whom among the people on that list. Invariably, most of the people they talk to also know and talk to each other. This kind of network, while cozy and cohesive, is, simply put, inbred. It also tends to be internal, operational (not strategic), and historical, an artifact of the executive's past work history and not his or her future possibilities. It turns out that this kind of network is also deadly for collaboration.
Consider three ways in which building broader (less inbred) networks can help you become a more collaborative leader: Read the full blog post from Harvard Business Review.