Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Weak Ties

How many close connections do you have with people? The vast majority of people have somewhere between 4 and 7 close friends – strong ties. This number is remarkably stable across all cultures and demographics, suggesting that we’re inherently limited when it comes to cultivating deep relationships.   However, weak ties turn out to be an essential ingredient of creativity.

Business people with entropic networks full of weak ties were 3 times more innovative than people with small networks of close friends. The most creative ideas, it turns out, don’t occur when we’re alone. Rather, they emerge from our social circles, from collections of acquaintances who inspire novel thoughts.

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