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What Creates Energy in Organizations?

People in organizations commonly talk about the energy associated with a project, team or individual. But is energy related to performance or learning in organizations? And how is it created and transferred in groups?

To answer those questions, the authors assessed energy within seven large groups in different organizations. They collected data that allowed them to map social networks and, more specifically, determine who the “energizers” and “de-energizers” were in those groups. Their analyses, supplemented by interviews with network members, also reveal why energy is important for performance and learning and how it is created (or destroyed) in organizations. And they gave rise to a set of questions that can help managers and the people they oversee increase the energy they generate in their interactions with colleagues.

By mapping relationships, managers can see where energy is being created and where it is being depleted. They can then take action, encouraging simple changes in behavior to increase energy in places where its lack is hindering the progress of important organizational initiatives.

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