If networking can lead to innovation, how should networks be used? Chris Trimble at Fast Company suggests breaking your networks from time to time. It's a great read. I particularly liked this passage:
Breaking networks is the only way to prepare an organization to takeinnovation efforts beyond mere ideas. You can train an individual about what an innovation is and why it demands different behavior, but you can’t retrain an organization simply by training the individuals within it. The individuals may acquire knowledge, but organizations are more powerful than individuals, and organizations reinforce the past.
Stowe Boyd, who provided this morning's link, says it well in his post. Innovation also requires us to occasionally forget things.
I wrote a bit about this last November after reading a brief intellectual history of how we conceive of creativity, Who Designed Brunelleschi's Dome? (hat tip: Business Innovation Insider) that makes the case for understanding creativity as a social dynamic, much like Richard Florida has done with Creative Class.
Breaking networks, though understandably difficult to do, only makes sense in that context.