According to a new study, employees see a significant increase in creativity levels when their managers encourage them to expand their networks beyond their immediate peers. “Social networks can be important sources of information and insight that may spark employee creativity,” according to the report. “The cross-fertilization of ideas depends not just on access to information and insights through one’s direct network—the people one actually interacts with—but also on access to the indirect network one’s direct ties connect to.” Researchers say that an employee’s “non-redundant ties,” or the people with whom they do not interact with directly, but with whom their direct contacts interact, offer the greatest source of new thinking. Simply put, the peers of peers are the best resource for new ideas. The study explored the creativity and problem solving of sales representatives. Those who displayed high levels of creativity also had the largest social networks. “Organizations may benefit from developmental efforts that help employees build the efficiency of their direct networks because such networks are likely to result in indirect networks of high-reach efficiency that are conducive to creativity,” the report states.