Organizational Size Matters 

A major research institution announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. This new element has been tentatively named, "Administratium."

Administratium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons and 111 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of particles called peona. Since Administratium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of three years; it does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization, in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons and assistant neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Administratium's mass actually increases over time, since each reorganization causes some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This moron-promoting characteristic has led some scientists to speculate that Administratium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as, "Critical Morass." You will know when you see it.

We have not only seen it. We've been run over by it.

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The Rule of 150

The figure of 150 seems to represent the maximum number of individuals with whom we can have a genuinely social relationship, the kind of relationship that goes with knowing who they are and how they relate to us. To have more than 150 people in a group reduces the ability that each member will be sufficiently familiar with each other so that they can work together as a functional unit.

Above 150, you have to impose complicated hierarchies and rules to command loyalty and cohesion. Below 150, it is possible to achieve these same goals informally based upon personal loyalties and direct contacts.

When things get larger than 150, people become strangers to one another. When your group gets bigger than 150, you begin to get two or three sub-groups or clans within the larger group. Above 150 people, there begins to be structural impediments to the ability of the group to agree and act with one voice.

Adhering to the Rule of 150, you can exploit the bonds of memory and peer pressure. Crossing over the 150 line, you lose that highly effective institutional memory, intimacy and trust that was gained by knowing people well enough to understand their strengths and passions.

---Source: "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown and Company)

Well Designed Personal Networks Share

We build our social capital by gaining the unity of a common relationship within diverse and complex communities. This common relationship allows us to store information with other people--so when we need access to that information, we just ask our personal network.

When people know each other well, they create an implicit joint memory system--a transactive memory system--which is based on an understanding about who is best suited to remember what kinds of things. The development of these personal network relationships is understood to be a process of mutual self-disclosure.

When new information arises, we know who should have responsibility for storing it. This is how our network expertise emerges. Since mental energy is limited, we each concentrate on what we do best.

The advantage of understanding people's strengths within the network is knowing where to get the best advice when needed.

For the strengths of the best golfer and richest person in the world and what they do best, click here.

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