A year ago this time I was redlining the copy-edited version of Net Work. I had to fight that crushing feeling of knowing I could have written a passage differently, or chosen a different example, or explored a topic more fully, but that the opportunity had passed. Just the typos, Ma’am, that’s what’s left to fix.
Networks are about relationships among people, and they are changing all the time. Hence, networks and the work we must do to maintain them (our “net work”) belongs in the domain of complexity. Our understanding of them, too, is changing all the time based on our own experiences coupled with the reporting and observations of journalists, thought leaders, scientists, and pundits (i.e. bloggers).
So I welcome this opportunity (thanks, Dave!), as I welcome speaking engagements, to add some new bits to Net Work. So I begin.
My last real post to my own blog (Networks, Complexity, and Relatedness) is a month old, and it’s the one heralding Dave and Mary’s HBR article. My HBR subscription is coming due, and I just received what I think is my last hardcopy issue (December 2007, not yet online) which contains an interview with psychologist John M. Gottman, an expert on relationships of married people. While he wisely declines to make any extrapolations from the deeply personal domain to the business domain, there are some insights that may be applied to the net work of relationships, which the smallest unit of glue in a network, and to building social capital, the sum of the ties of all types.
I am closing my public talks on Net Work these days with a quote from The Little Prince: “It is the time you take for your rose that makes it valuable to you.” So be it also for our networks.
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