WOW: October 2020 newsletter edition

In case you have missed it, here's our October 2020 edition of JOIN21 newsletter!


Welcome to this premier edition of The Way Of Work Newsletter – by JOIN21!

Welcome to this premier edition of
The Way Of Work Newsletter

As new technology and the pandemic has society scrambling to embrace remote work and redefine what it means to be an employee, organizations are becoming more digitally connected. But not always in predictable ways or between the parts of an organization that would gain the most from being more connected. Expansive organization charts and ambiguous role descriptions cloud our understanding of how the business actually operates. We simply lack insight into the way value creation is retained and disseminated through networks, and how it can seriously misalign a company.

The necessity of understanding your organization’s internal and external relations of formal and informal relationships should always be the center of your attention. Understanding where these critical connections exist, is essential to be competitive.

Network Leadership is a new way to address this conundrum. It helps you visualize how information, ideas and decisions flow through your organization and its relations with customers, partners and suppliers. As a leadership philosophy it takes its cues from a strong tradition of academic research. JOIN21 is the driver in a fledgling field of companies bringing this leadership philosophy to corporate life.

Less than 10% of leaders and employees globally have ever seen their organization as a network. Scary, but clearly a strong competitive advantage for
those who do.

In this newsletter, we will share not only our own writing and research on Network Leadership, but also guide you to the most interesting insights of the ongoing discussions on the future of work. If you enjoy the WOW Newsletter, please share it with friends and colleagues who might find it interesting. And please let us know if you’d rather not receive this occasional newsletter.

Good reading and stay connected!

Jan Taug, PhD, CEO and Founder, JOIN21

Messaging can only take a relationship so far.

Sarah Solomon is one of the remote workers who are trying to recreate those watercooler moments, virtually, Technology Review reports.


Business daily Dagens Næringsliv re-printed our article about whether businesses have the tools they need to solve the challenges that made remote work go bust in the past. This time around, Network Leadership could help leaders and employees understand what is going on in the organization when people no longer sit at their desks.


Barcelona’s 2010 team of Guardiola, Messi, Xavi and Iniesta. Six buckets. Is such greatness just pure chemistry or can the teams utter dominance be deciphered by network science? And can we analyze a business in the same way?

Fast Company

There is evidence in abundance: According to one company interviewed by Forbes, and research by Harvard Business Review, working from home boosts company-wide productivity. It doesn’t squander it. Here are the changes that will most likely stick.

New York Times

Some valuable personal insights here. Research suggests that rekindling our dormant ties leads us to more novel ideas and more useful advice than reaching out to our current contacts. Many are nervous about reconnecting, but 90% end up finding it fun and enjoyable. (By the way, Network Leadership can show you whom to reach out to).

Harvard Business Review

It’s interesting to see how organizations are realizing that jobs we used to assume had to be done on-site, can in fact be done remotely. While this won’t work for everyone, there are several advantages to shifting at least some of your workforce to permanent virtual positions, argue Maxim Sytch and Lendred L. Greer.

HR Exchange

Michael Arena gives a nice argument (from a network science vantage point) for why focusing on the increased productivity of remote work could be a mistake. It is one thing to be more productive, but the core question is can we effectively innovate in such an environment?

McKinsey & Company

CEOs have shifted how they lead in expedient and ingenious ways during this crisis. Here, McKinsey explores four shifts that point towards better ways to lead a company: Unlocking bolder aspirations; elevating their “to be” list to the same level as “to do” in their operating models; fully embracing stakeholder capitalism; and harnessing the full power of their CEO peer networks.

In The Black

This is a great article explaining how network analysis has existed as an area of research for decades, and how organisations are only now beginning to appreciate the wondrous insights offered. With some great use cases.