There are a lot of good books on “networking”. One of the best books on this topic I have ever read was “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. Additional information about this book can be found at www.amazon.de, www.amazon.com or the official website of K. Ferrazzi www.nevereatalone.com.
Sociocybernetics is the quantitative study of social systems. As such it can be applied in daily management. For example, sociocybernetics may help find out what organizational framework one needs in order to achieve a desired outcome of two interacting parties (e.g., individuals, departments, companies).
My own research in sociocybernetics started in 1995 in Miami and culminated in my dissertation in 1997 in which I proved the viability of sociocybernetics in foreign policy analysis. For those interested in my past research and findings, have a look at my dissertation.
The Logic of Social Interactions in Foreign Policy
There cannot be effective collaboration or learning environment without vision. Defining vision sets the foundation for all subsequent activities. Vision entails the setting of a direction, may it be on a high level such as for a corporation or on a lower level such as a project.
There can be collaboration without a clear division, but for what purpose? It cannot be effective for it does not follow objectives. Effective means that work achieves the desired outcome. Without a clearly defined vision, there is no clearly defined outcome. Hence, it would be wrong to speak of effective collaboration without vision.
For a project environment this implies that the first and foremost activity of any project has to be clarifying the vision and objectives of the project. Project objectives have to be “smart” (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-boxed) and well understood and mutually supported by all key stakeholders. Do not start a project without a clear objective or it is likely to fail. In case a new project manager is assigned to an ongoing project she must first revisit the project objectives and check if they have been followed. If this were not the case, project objectives have to be re-evaluated and re-aligned among all key stakeholders.