Your network is a complicated thing. The entire network includes all the people you’ve worked closely with, but the active part of your network can look strikingly different at different times, depending on where you’re working, what you’re working on, even how you’re feeling. Your network goes dormant in some areas and comes alive in others. It informs the way you solve problems and make decisions. It is unique to you, but it contains traits shared by other networks: successful managers have networks that share characteristics not only with the networks of other successful managers, but also successful artists and musicians.

In fact, the structure of your network—whether it’s open or closed, narrow or broad—can have significant consequences for your career trajectory. In the six videos below, Chicago Booth’s Ronald S. Burt explains how networks behave, how to understand your own network structure, and why it matters for professionals across the business world.

What is a network?

Why your network needs more diversity

When group affiliations become network obstacles

How to find new perspectives

How network brokers break down “sticky information”

The three keys to creating value through your network

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