How Many Weak Ties Can You Tolerate?

Another thought from Six Degrees

It was a bit of a surprise to me to learn that we knew back in 1973 that “weak ties” in networks play a “strong role” in determining outcomes. Weak ties — as opposed to strong ties — open the door to diversity and coaltion building, which are critical in making networks more potent.

That raised a question for me. What institutions encourage more weak ties? Put another way, how many different ways are there at our disposal to develop weak ties?  The more the better, right?

And it occurred to me that perhaps the best type of weak ties are those that delight. Shared delight can be ephemeral, but it does bind in apoistive way. And as Steve Johnson wrote in “Wonderland”, innovation starts with trying to satisfy our endless human need for delight in creativity.

So which institutions will delight us as we go forward? Hmmm … I have to put on my thinking cap.


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