Closing triangles: A key to stronger networks
“How do we strengthen networks?”
“That’s a start.”
That conversation took place between Valdis Krebs and me in 2003.
Valdis is an expert in social network analysis. At the time I was at Case Western Reserve University continuing to work on an approach to strategy in networks…what became #strategicdoing.
An open-source protocol for designing and guiding strategy in open, loosely joined networks, #strategicdoing is now spreading globally. Closing triangles — what academics call “triadic closure” — fills holes in networks. (See Bianconi et al., 2014: https://bit.ly/3BaQcJp)
My guess is that I have completed over 2,000 e-mail introductions since Valdis taught me this practice. It’s one reason, I suspect, that our #strategicdoingnetworks now span the globe.
Here’s Valdis’ blog post from 2006 that explains a good example of triadic closure: https://bit.ly/3jikDYi
In this example, I connected civic leaders in Lexington, KY to civic leaders in Oklahoma City. At the time, Lexington, KY was mired in self-doubt. After our visit, they had a clearer direction. During the visit, I introduced former OKC mayor Ron Norrick and Burns Hargis, a leader of our OKC initiatives to the civic leaders in Commerce Lexington.
Burns went on to be the president of Oklahoma State.
The Director of the Lab at UNA and co-author of Strategic Doing: 10 Skills for Agile Leadership, Ed’s work has focused on developing new models of strategy specifically designed to accelerate complex collaboration in networks and open innovation. He is the original developer of Strategic Doing.