David Amerland

The Strength of Weak Ties

Back in 1973 a John Hopkins sociologist by the name of Mark Granovetter studied the dynamics of networks in the hope of finding the bridging points between macro-level predictions (made by social theory) and micro-level interactions that seemed to somehow affect everything.

His paper titled The Strength of Weak Ties became a seminal breakthrough in our understanding of network theory and the motivation of actors in loosely defined groups.

Every business fancies itself a “family”. Its leaders believe that the ties that bind are strong and irrevocable. Loyalty and belief in the business flows from them. Everyone working in it is invested.

Not so.

It is the weak ties that bind us all. The small reasons that make work cohesive. The details that seep through our consciousness that feel like intuitive truths.

Businesses, as a rule, don’t grasp this well. The disconnect between those who craft the ‘message’ and those who receive it is too great for that. So, the challenges continue. The work is never done.

The world is changing. Not overnight and not all at once, but it is changing nevertheless. In my talks to corporate groups, CEOs, VPs and industry leaders I gleam insights of how this change is happening. What evidence exists. Why some things happen and not others and how we can best take advantage of it all to do better. In Observations I catalogue it all. Brief, to the point and open to discussion.

© 2019 David Amerland. All rights reserved