Harvard Professor of Medicine, Health Care Policy, and Sociology, Nicholas Christakis provides insight on social networks in this TED speech. Christakis authored the book 'Connected,' which famously garnered headlines for proving that a person is more likely to become obese if his/her friends are obese.
Christakis explains how social networks operate and speaks about the idea of a social network as a 'superorganism.' Project Managers can take advantage of the positive qualities of their team 'superorganism.' In nature, animals form groups, and through collective intelligence, birds can decide how to migrate, wild dogs can hunt as a pack and human social networks can spread ideas.
Those are the positive aspects of social networking, but I have seen one depressed or angry member of a group lower the whole group's productivity and affect the attitudes of every member of their team.
By treating groups as interconnected social networks and utilizing the collective intelligence of the 'superorganism,' project managers can increase productivity and innovation in their teams.
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