Not too long ago, someone pointed me to this talk that was given at Global SCRUM GATHERING® New Orleans 2014 a few weeks ago, and it got me thinking about another blog post that was written up several months ago, around the time when the Snowden leaks were just coming out, and the NSA was scrambling to defend it’s position.
Using metadata to map networks of people is nothing new, and has been done countless times in the past for various reasons. What was interesting to me was the fact that the Net-Map project essentially came to a similar conclusion that Professor Healy did; within each network of people, there are those people that stick out as being key to the entire network, but are not necessarily in the most important positions within that network.
While this is nothing extraordinary, and on the surface seems incredibly simple, it is also something that is so very often overlooked in many organizations. The most important difference maker is usually someone that is able to operate seemingly without boundaries, and can seamlessly move between departments and interact with everyone on their level. They forge not just working relationships, but often times personal friendships that can help them overcome some of the same obstacles that block others trying to accomplish the same things.
To me, there is a lesson to learn here. If you want to be effective resource within your organization, it often pays to put forth the extra effort to relate to people on a more personal level, instead of just approaching everything in a very business-like manner. I know it sounds corny, but it is probably worth it in the long run to put forth a little extra effort in your relationships with people, not just in your own department, but in every department within your organization.