1. Change agents who were central in the organization’s informal network had a clear advantage, regardless of their position in the formal hierarchy.
2. People who bridged disconnected groups and individuals were more effective at implementing dramatic reforms, while those with cohesive networks were better at instituting minor changes.
3. Being close to “fence-sitters,” who were ambivalent about a change, was always beneficial. But close relationships with resisters were a double-edged sword: Such ties helped change agents push through minor initiatives but hindered major change attempts.
We’ve seen evidence of these phenomena at work in a variety of organizations and industries, from law firms and consultancies to manufacturers and software companies. These three network “secrets” can be useful for any manager, in any position, trying to effect change in his or her organization.