Social networks in transfer of knowledge

Once upon a time there was leader who wanted to develop an organization where innovations flourish, people feel psychological safety, teams thrive and change is seen as a possibility. Leader understood that in order to develop her leadership skills, she should not follow the old guidelines of management as the principles had gone obsolete and were difficult to be implemented in today`s business environment. Leader was stressed and desperate: she needed to make the organization more resilient and agile, but did not know how. The clock was ticking, company was running out of resources and personnel was looking for other jobs. Suddenly the leader realized: she had to seek new information from management and innovation research and she had to change herself.

Trancendent leadership: triangle of leading self, organization and others

Leader started to develop herself by rehearsing self-awareness and self-regulation. She started to focus on her personal strengths, practice yoga and mindfulness and adapted moral virtues of leadership. She understood, that leader has to love and lead herself first; only then she is capable of leading others.

After some serious self-searching, leader focused on her followers. She started to discuss with them, listen to them and involved everyone in the decision-making. She started to trust her employees and gave them more responsibilities. She understood that her responsibility was to provide a clear direction, then get out of the way. Finally, after months of training, she was seen as an authentic and charismatic leader, who believed in others.

Finally, leader focused on the processes of the organization. She created and infrastructure that supported learning, innovations and knowledge-sharing. She understood the dynamic nature of strategizing which means that the strategy is created in the daily operations of the organization. The most important teaching for the leader was that the complex, dynamic and self-organizing nature of the organization demanded tools that supported change and flexibility.

Einstein`s tip for a future leader

Soon leader realized that she was on the right path and that this kind of strategic leadership was suitable for a modern leadership which highlights:

  • The importance of change management
  • Ability to understand dynamic, instable environment
  • Ability to make quick decisions
  • Set boundaries for strategy to evolve and provide value-based direction and meaning

Leader also understood that by changing her own behaviour, she was able to make improvements in the organization. Next step for her was to find solutions for the questions: How to change from formal to informal organization? How to maintain the flexibility of the organization during growth?

To address these challenges, leader read the book Strategically Networked organization. From the book she learned that with Social Network analysis one can understand how people are connected in the organization and what kind of positions people hold in those networks, especially in the informal organization. Through this analysis, leader was able to detect how information travels in the organization and how sense is made of that information. She found few keypersons, who she decided to take as change agents.

Jackson Pollock: Alchemy, 1947 – organizations are complex systems

Leader knew that the organization was a complex system, constituting of networks and relationships in those networks. She knew, that it is impossible to understand completely the dynamics of that system but by understanding different roles and information flows in that system her company could gain competitive advantage. By understanding that the knowledge of the organizations is a socially created phenomena and that expertise, resources and learning are transformed in networks, leader was able to crucially improve the knowledge-sharing culture of the organization.

In the end, the business was a success who employed a lot of future talents. And the leader lived happily ever after.

With Love,

Kaisa R

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