|This course is an introduction to the competitive advantage provided by social capital. You’ll see evidence and applications of basic principles in how social networks create advantage for some and erode performance for others.
More than ever before, the central role of a business leader is to formulate organization objectives, mobilize colleagues to achieve the objectives, and convey the objectives in a form attractive to employees, investors, and customers. The CEO and his or her leadership team have point responsibility, but managers too are expected to play a role, and most certainly expected to shape their personal business responsibilities to broad corporate strategy. However, people are less often trained for these responsibilities than they are simply expected to meet them. This course is about bringing people together to create and deliver value. It is about identifying opportunities in the hurly-burly of everyday life around you, mobilizing resources around opportunities, and organizing to deliver on opportunities. In any situation, there is a social organization to the divergent interests of significant players. Principles of social capital describe how to coordinate those interests to create value: coordinating personal contacts to diverse groups in an organization, coordinating employees within and between functional groups, and coordinating business activities across markets. A strategic leader understands the alternative forms of social capital and when to optimize for one or another. The key question: How do I work with the other people to make it happen?
In other words, this is a course about the transition from smart to wise. Smart knows how to compute. Wise knows when and where computation adds value. Wise poses the intuitive questions to which smart provides answers. Smart is an able technician. Wise is a leader.