Get the key ideas from

Friend of a Friend

Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career

By David Burkus
15-minute read
Audio available
Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career by David Burkus

Friend of a Friend (2018) shows how networks around us can be put to use and taken advantage of. Networking is, of course, a crucial skill for professional success – but networks themselves go even deeper and aren’t just about making new contacts. Innovation, career development and business success all have their part to play, too.

  • Students of business and management
  • Ambitious professionals
  • Frustrated workers stuck in dead-end jobs

David Burkus is a popular speaker and author, as well as an associate professor of business studies. He writes regularly for the Harvard Business Review and has given several TED talks on business and management, which have been viewed by millions of people.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Friend of a Friend

Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career

By David Burkus
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career by David Burkus
Synopsis

Friend of a Friend (2018) shows how networks around us can be put to use and taken advantage of. Networking is, of course, a crucial skill for professional success – but networks themselves go even deeper and aren’t just about making new contacts. Innovation, career development and business success all have their part to play, too.

Key idea 1 of 9

Connecting to people you don’t know very well leads to better networking and innovation.

The value of a close friendship is not to be underrated. We all want to have people around who we trust and with whom we can share our feelings.

But when it comes to work, if you’re going to be successful, you have to dump those emotional tendencies and work according to a different professional paradigm.

Sociologically speaking, your close friends are those with whom you have strong social ties.

But, if you cultivate ties with people you’re not so close to – that is, weak social ties – you’re going to be a better networker.

Typically, when we're faced with challenges such as looking for a new job, we reach out to strong social ties or seek out job listings online. What’s all too readily forgotten are weak social ties, and that’s a big mistake.

The problem with strong social ties is that they are often connected to each other as well as to you, like an interconnected cluster. In contrast, weak social ties tend to be connected to other social clusters, which means they'll spread news of your job search to entirely different groups of people.

In fact, a Harvard University student named Mark Granovetter showed this to be scientifically true back in 1970. He surveyed people making job transitions and found that 83 percent of those who were successful in their search had managed it with the help of weak social ties.

Interestingly enough, connecting with people you’re less close to also promotes innovation.

In 2002, Martin Ruef, a sociology professor at Duke University, set about asking 700 start-ups how they had devised their business models.

It turned out that practically all start-ups that had developed their business ideas from talking with weak social ties had more innovative business models than those who had relied on strong ties. This was indicated by the fact that these start-ups had, for example, filed for more patents to protect their original ideas. Additionally, Ruef and his researchers judged their ideas to be highly innovative when compared to business models and research typical of their fields.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.