Networking for Change

Your organization needs to change a process, but you and your team are having trouble making it happen.  You’ve tried brainstorming, process mapping, collaborating and other good change methods, but keep hitting a dead end, with no solid plan to move forward.  What else can you do?

Networking is an important tool that can be overlooked when working through challenging organizational changes.  When staff are too close to a process they may have been using for multiple years, it can be difficult to think about it differently.

Effective networking could help bridge this gap.

This article from Harvard Business Review showcases how three different types of networking can help your and your organization succeed.

Operational: These are the people in your organization; both within and outside of your work unit, at different levels.  This is the networking that most people default to, whether they realize it or not.
“But as a manager moves into a leadership role, his or her network must reorient itself externally and toward the future.”

Personal:  It’s often thought of as “Who You Know”, but it can be more valuable to think of it as “What Do They Know?”  Information and advice can arise from unexpected places, especially when you purposefully get out of your comfort zone.
“According to the famous six degrees of separation principle, our personal contacts are valuable to the extent that they help us reach, in as few connections as possible, the far-off person who has the information we need.”

Strategic: Sometimes dismissed as simply “playing politics”, if it’s done honestly and transparently, it can lead to great things.
“Hearing about their problems and techniques allowed him to view his own from a different perspective and helped him define principles that he could test in his work.”

After reading the article, please share how networking has helped you lead a change or come up with a new idea!

Cindy Schneider

 

 

 

 

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