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It’s not the size of your network, but who you connect with…

1 min read

It’s not the size of your network, but who you connect with…

There are three basic approaches to building your professional collaborative network: go big (connect with everyone and anyone), go closed (maintain a tight circle) and truly connect (engage with people you can help and that can help you).

There are three basic approaches to building your professional collaborative network:

go big (connect with everyone and anyone),

go closed (maintain a tight circle) and

truly connect (engage with people you can help and that can help you)

Go big seems a good strategy, but it dilutes your ability to spot what is valuable and dilutes your credibility. Rob Cross comments in Harvard Business Review:

“… the secret to these networks has never been their size. Simply following the advice of self-help books and building mammoth Rolodexes or Facebook accounts actually tends to hurt performance as well as have a negative effect on health and well-being at work. Rather, the people who do better tend to have more ties to people who themselves are not connected. People with ties to the less-connected are more likely to hear about ideas that haven't gotten exposure elsewhere, and are able to piece together opportunities in ways that less-effectively-networked colleagues cannot.”

Go closed makes sense if you want to share personal or project details of interest to those you are connected with. Being able to share quickly with only everyone on a team has clear value (so much so that it seems Google thinks they can use it to dethrone Facebook with Google Circle). But it is incongruous connections that best foster innovation.

Truly connecting creates magic. Being found because you have specific knowledge/skills/connections that can help a fellow human is gratifying and rewarding. Social tools allow you to reach out and help others innovate and solve problems, be they across the world or in an organizational silo across the hall.

How are you making yourself discoverable inside and outside your organization?

Read more by
Brad Palmer

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