How extensive is your network? Have you got 500+ in LinkedIn and 2500+ on Facebook, like me? How many colleagues work alongside you in your company?
Looks like that you have something in common with them. Professional interests, shared duties or similar hobbies.
Why is it still a challenge to put together a team to accomplish an essential task? Why does the team end up with people not engaged in the common task?
So, what is at the heart of what we call engagement?
The Albi Research Team offers an article by Gennadii Andreev, PhD in Philosophy (El Paso, Texas, USA), in which we discuss the importance of fostering deep and multidimensional peer-to-peer interactions within work teams.
We suggest transforming a social network into an informal social group to enhance collaboration with AlbiCoins – Employee-tech Solution. This article examines the distinction between social groups and social networks and emphasizing the value of interpersonal connections within social groups for effective teamwork.
Social group VS Social network: a group work
Gennadii Andreev, PhD in Philosophy (El Paso, Texas, the USA)
Today we all live on the Internet. Sometimes social media knows more about us than we can know about our-selves. After the Fourth Industrial revolution, brilliantly described by Klaus Schwab, AI ruled over us in a more powerful way than monarchs of ancient régime. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and other kinds of the Web platform have more information and analytic capacity than all agents of KGB, CIA, Mi-6, Mossad and other intelligent services of the last century.
But we forget the simple things. Social networks had emerged before Mark Zuckerberg or Pavel Durov were born. Thousands of years before. These networks are old as hills they appeared with humankind. As social groups as well.
In the beginning let us get definitions of these terms and their differences
Social group is several individuals who have common socially significant attribute and long term common interest. There may be literally several people, or even thousands or hundreds of thousand persons. Socially significant attribute is a feature of these people which can be important to other groups or to society as whole. For example, it may be occupation, gender, citizenship, race etc. Interest is a pursuit to satisfaction of all (or the most of) needs. So, to drink, to eat, to have shelter are needs, but pursuit to have a good and high-paid job is the interest (this one may give high income and as a result the satisfaction of all these needs).
An idea of social group can be illustrated by this figure
Some groups have formal features for identification. Such as, ID for citizens, student cards for students, membership cards for political party members etc. Other social groups are united by informal relationships and permanent interactions of individuals. Here it is important to have emotional chains with concrete people, who can be loved, or hated, or ignored etc. The thing is a work team or crew does have aspects of both kinds of groups. They simultaneously do have formal identification and personal interactions. And here we should examine the essence of social networks. Social network is a sum of personal interactions. In 2006 professor Jan van Dijk wrote: “characteristic of the current communications revolution is the rise of interactive media”1. But these interactions do have many dimensions. First level is an acquaintanceship, i.e., some individuals can recognize each other and know the name of their vis-à-vis. Second level is emotional attitude to another person (what kind of emotions this individual can make among others). Third level is a knowledge of the background of their partner (cultural, religious, social ones, his or her taste in literature, or movies, which he or her likes etc.). Fourth level is a capacity to predict a partner’s behavior. In other words, an individual can understand how another person will behave in the concrete case.
An idea of social network can be illustrated by this figure
The chief differences between social groups and social networks are next
- Firstly, not all members in social networks interact with each other. They actually know only persons with whom they interact. But potentially these people can learn from all other participants of the social network. In our live we often can see recommendations in our Social media. If we follow all recommendations, at any time we match all members of the social network. 14 years ago Todd Kelsey emphasized this nature of Facebook: “Facebook is inherently social… So, you can sign in and see who is on someone’s list of friends, and you can invite people to be your friends. It basically provides a framework to organize what people do anyway—they like to keep a circle of friends”2.
- Secondly, social groups do have two limits: the significant attribute and long-term common interest. If you do not have even one of them you cannot be a member of the group.
- Thirdly, in social groups all interact with all. Even in huge groups such as one- country citizens. In this case they are compatriots to each other. Surely, in a work team, individuals interact not only as co-worker, but they do have relationships literally: they talk to each other, they gossip with each other and so on.
Ideal manager and team-builder will make interactions in his social group as deep and multidimensional as in social network ones. Ideal manager will transform the social network of his or her company to an informal social group of close friends.
In our team we need to understand each other and feel each other. But our team as whole should make clear and obvious purposes to each of us, creating for us our long-term common interest. This interest is to interact with us constantly.
And the interest will be comprehended if we will deeply interact with our co-workers, understanding their preferences. The common interest is the foundation for collaboration. Especially, when employees and employers will get the simple idea they have one common interest.
So, the formula of the successful business is the next one. Make your social network of your social group, make your social group of your social network!