Monday, 5 March 2007

The Strength of Weak Ties

Bumped into sociologist MS Grovnetter's theory developed in 1973 about weak ties:

"The strength of weak ties is the concept that individuals tend to be more successful in acquiring information about job opportunities by contacting individuals that they did not see often—their weak ties"

His theory in a nutshell: Our inner circle has similar info, similar interests and similar contacts as we do. When we attempting to do something outside of what's typical for us, it's our weak ties that support and inform us. We don’t know what we don’t know, but maybe our weak ties do.

Interestingly enough, I have personally seen this now that I have made the move from being a marketer (in digital media) to being an entrepreneur (in digital media). While what's inside the brackets might be the same, nothing else is. And it's been my weak ties that have made introductions for me and given insights and support to me along the way.

So my advice if you are thinking about changing careers or even considering doing something that might be radically different from what you currently know, cultivate your weak ties. It's their strength that might make the difference.


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