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The strengths of “weak ties” from a network perspective

Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood, Superconnect: Harnessing the power of networks and the strength of weak links (Norton 2010) emphasizes the potential power if we reach out to of our so-called “weak connections.” Weak connections describe our acquaintances as compared to “strong connections” who are our close friends, family and workmates we see most days. Your strong connections are more likely to be similar to you in background, knowledge, and beliefs. Weak connections are former colleagues, classmates, members of the same club or religious group, sorority buds, the lawyers you met at the conference or the vendors you spent time with at LegalTech. The variety of viewpoints and knowledge available through weak ties confers advantages for you if you consult them over the more homogenous knowledge of your strong ties. For example, more people find jobs through their weak ties than through their strong ties.

The authors refer to “hubs” as the junction of strong and weak ties. Your pilates pals, the monthly poker group, members of your reading club, the Parent-Teacher Association leaders, your neighbor with the Collie dog…. The more weak ties you maintain and the more and varied hubs you belong to, the more resources you can draw on.

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