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History is not so much the story of great people steering events. History is what happens with the networks of men and women - when the networks trade, fight, complete, consume resources or lend support.
Niall Ferguson, historian-by-trade, studies network science and has found six historic networks laws. By understanding these laws, we can discover how to use them strategically.
Individuals tend to associate and bond with others similar to themselves - known as homophily. This can be seen at school or in the boardroom.
When we make our networks more inclusive and cultivate good relationships, we don't narrow our networking potential but expand it.
In a famous letter experiment, Stanley Milgram showed roughly six degrees of separation between any two random individuals. Other studies suggest that social media lessened the degrees of separation.
We can use this knowledge to make networking less intimidating. Your network has more connections than you think. So reach out to them.
Your network structure is as important to spread ideas as the content.
Superconnectors are the influencers, policymakers and people who are known throughout history. Their status as superconnectors is one reason why they remain famous.
If you learn to recognise superconnectors, you can use their connections to your advantage. For example, if a superconnector shares your product or name, it will spread through their connections.
Networks are complex systems whose behaviours are hard to predict: For example, superconnectors can become outcasts, new networks can form, or new combinations can make stronger connections.
Keep observing and tapping into new networks. While you may feel comfortable in the current paradigm, don't let it become stagnant. Continually pursue improvements.
Networks have interactions; they can meet, combine, and fight.
Because networks network, you and your company have much more connections than you can imagine.
Some nodes are better connected than others. This creates influencers.
Some networks benefit from a hierarchical structure, such as the military, while others benefit from being more equal, such as university members.
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