Strength of weak ties decides the future of work

You belong to a group or build one at work. You may call it by different names – team, department, business unit and so on. Broader the name, wider the diversity. Add the time-distance-virtuality of people involved. You get the real unified world, divided by every parameter possible to hold them together. Multiple dimensions come-to-play at once to get anything done.

Intergroup coordination is considered one of the most important aspects of effective project management. When organisations and work streams are functionally divided for efficiency, we need additional glues to make them stick together as unified workforce. Autonomy and functional depth makes them grow as silos needing a lot of negotiation and supervision for getting-things-done.

It is a common practice to make all possible attempts to get every team concerned, buy-in the overall priority of your project and accept dependencies, deliver-in-time. Since they have their priorities and conflicts, how strong is your relationship with other groups matters the most. You should establish these relationships ahead and away from the project you are currently driving. You should know the people in those groups as people. Should develop genuine appreciation for their work and contributions. Without the context of a project or initiative, these ties are weak ones. But they have the greatest strength when you are in need.

Get-to-know your organisation well. Well ahead of any work-relationship/requirement shows up. Nurture all functional weak ties and be useful. In places where your organisational interfaces, work-relationships and conflict-resolution-techniques fail, the strength of weak ties you have with those teams wins. It decides the future course of work.

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