MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
You may think it was your idea to keep your desk neat or speak up in a meeting, but your behavior was likely influenced by those in your network.
Once we understand social networks, we can use its power to shape workplaces for the better. You can turn an unhappy team into an innovative, collaborative one.
Your experiences in the world is not only a product of your own desires, actions, and thoughts, but also a product of the desires, actions, and thoughts of people around you.
The things that are seemingly personal to you are actually very strongly influenced by similar traits in other people. You do have agency. You can choose what to do. But you're also affected by what others are doing. Both are true.
Studies have shown that you can take a group of people and connect them one way, and they'll be happy, cooperative, and innovative. You can take the same people and join them another way, with a different network topology, and they're unhappy, uncooperative, and stagnant.
The properties like innovation, for example, are then not just properties of individuals, but rather properties of collections of people.
To identify influential people, you need to define the kinds of interactions you're interested in.
For example, you might ask people about many different sorts of ties. "Who do you rely on to do your job well?" "Who do you hang out with after work?" "Who would you trust for a referral for a babysitter?" Then you could consider which individuals are structurally influential for this or that purpose and focus on them.
There are four ways in which online networks differ from offline networks.
People generally don't think inequality is good, but they may think it is unavoidable. Other people believe inequality can be quite corrosive and negatively affect the health of a community.
Inequality is not the same as the visibility of inequality. In companies, when equality is high, visibility is not harmful. When inequality is high, visibility is harmful. For example, if the wage gap between the CEO and the employee is about five times, then everyone can know what everyone else is making. Everyone then becomes happier and more cooperative. However, if the CEO makes 500 times that of the employee, do not publicize the inequality. That is very corrosive.
Money cannot buy happiness, but there is a new kind of association found between money and our perception towards it: comparison with other people's wealth.
Money by itself is a tool that can provide us with food, shelter, comfort and clothing. The connection between our happiness and our own wealth is overshadowed by the connection between our happiness and other people's subjective socioeconomic status.
The notion that we often hear, that it’s the size of your network that matters, or the number of people you know, is simply wrong.
What is far more important than the number of people you know is the strength and the quality of your social connections.
Social structures are expressed at the micro-level by the interactions we have with each other in the form of norms and customs.
We see it in the way it shapes our interactions within the family or education and the way institutionalized ideas about race, gender, and sexuality shape our interaction and expectations.