According to Aldu Cornelissen, co-presenter of the workshop about Informal Networks and Social Network Analysis –

“Most organisations are well versed in the art of managing the formal, that which can be committed to paper, be defined and managed. Due to this bias towards the formal, for most organisations, the informal is normally seen as unwanted, the source of risk, unpredictability, unmanageability and inefficiency. However, a surge in research on social networks and a subsequent network theoretical description of organisations and how they work, we are now equipped with tools, concepts and theories to help us understand the informal organisation and use it to our advantage. When I say ‘our’ I intend to point out those in management who want to understand and improve the organisation further through understanding the informal. “

A key dynamic in knowledge management is the relationships and patterns of interaction in informal networks. Social Network Analysis provides a way to visualise these patterns of interaction. Such maps provide answers to questions such as Who communicates to who?, Who is the most trusted?, What are the real roles?, Where are the blockages?, etc.

In this video, Rob Cross discusses how a network perspective helps managers and leaders to see where ideas are flowing, where best practices are transferring, etc. This understanding impacts how we nurture innovation and cross-functional collaboration.

Managers and leaders can leverage the insights gained from understanding the informal networks in their organisation to  –

  • accelerate the flow of knowledge and information across functional and organizational boundaries
  • identify the thought leaders, key information brokers and bottlenecks
  • target opportunities where increased knowledge flow will have the most impact
  • inform smarter decision making during mergers, acquisitions, restructuring,  and the need to retain people who are vital in the knowledge system
  • plan for the development of communities of practice.

Join the workshop about Informal Network & Social Network Analysis on Wednesday, 27 May 2015. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce individuals from various organisations – both private and public– to the idea, and subsequent value, of surfacing, understanding and using informal networks within their organisations. Participants will also learn about the tools of the trade for conducting social network analysis and discuss real-life examples.

Click here to download the Pre-Summit Workshop Brochure and Summit Agenda.

Find out more:

  • An authoritive summary on SNA: Borgatti, S.P. et al., 2009. Network analysis in the social sciences. Science, 323, pp.892–895.