What is the first thing that someone new to social capital should do?

We've got 20 members in the community now, and I hope we can start a little bit of discussion to help get to know each other and to help new members too. So here goes:

What is the first thing that someone new to social capital should do to make a difference to the connections and relationships within their organisation?

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  • In my experience you have to connect Social Capital to business outcomes. We were in a highly knowledge intensive business where we sold  intellectual capital in the form of licenses for technology. Social capital is a precursor to knowledge sharing, recombination and thus innovation which is in effect intellectual capital. So, Social Capital is the connecting phase between human capital and intellectual capital. All organisational and HR practices supported this basic idea. Any stuff about culture is fairly generic and does not really explain knowledge sharing, evolving narratives or innovation. The main unusual value we had was teamwork and selflessness. This was about networking internally and externally to the company and being selfless in your behaviour towards the company as a whole. These are simply enablers to creating social capital. So, the summary is that it has to be seen a the prime way to get people to work together for business success. Having the right culture is simply one of the things that facilitates this. 

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