How to Activate 3 Key Network Roles

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Executive Summary

Network Analysis has identified patterns, or roles, people play in organizations. Boundary Spanning is a way to turn human and organizational barriers into the frontiers for change and innovation. When put together, we have an effective way to activate people in key roles, so collaboration can take place in new ways.

1) Uncover the Current Network

Organizational Network Analysis helps us understand roles people play and who is currently positioned to collaborate in an effort to unleash knowledge, expertise and ideas. Three roles are key to cross-boundary collaboration.

2) Rethink Collaboration

The collaboration needed for working and innovating in complex, interdependent environments rarely comes naturally. Collaboration doesn’t take place by naming it as a key competency or part of the organizational culture. Structural barriers and human responses get in the way.

3) Create Boundary Spanning Experiences

Business leaders and organizational development leaders can, together, create experiences and implement targeted tactics to leverage key network players, boost boundary spanning capability and achieve desired outcomes.


When you identify people who play key roles, you can engage them in different ways, depending on where they sit in the organization and what outcomes you are looking to achieve.

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