ARE YOU AND YOUR ORGANISATION RELATIONSHIP FOCUSED?
The highest performing companies worldwide are differentiated by their ability to attract, leverage and retain relationships. Networks are more than just customers; attention must also be given to shareholders, partners, industry, the community, and employees.
The questions to consider are:
• Is there a gap between your intention and how you are perceived in your relationships?
• How conscious or deliberate are you at creating a network that is aligned to your role?
• How conscious or deliberate are you at managing a network so that it benefits you and those in it?
Networks are powerful and relationships are important. Combine these two things with thought to the future and you have strategic networks – a strong set of relationships, which can deliver mutual value to those involved. Built and maintained with care, strategic networks can then go to the next level, allowing you to potentially leverage the power of other people’s networks.
WHAT TYPE OF NETWORKER ARE YOU?
Given that we all network in some capacity, it pays to look at how you do this and if it is working. Unfortunately, many people have been taught the wrong skills and may spend a considerable amount of time and effort with no return. On the flip side, we all know someone who is a ‘born’ networker as well.
Start by identifying where you fit and then look at the steps you can take to improve.
BENEFITS OF A STRATEGIC NETWORK
There is a growing body of research that correlates the importance of relationships with business outcomes.
Let’s face it, every time you interact with someone (potentially new or existing to your network) you can either build or lose credibility. The approach you take directly impacts the quality of the networks at your disposal.
A strategic network will give you access to people with knowledge and authority. As you build relationships with these people you will build your own knowledge and also gain authority by association.
A strategic network will deliver you introductions, referrals and endorsements which will lift you above the commodity debate. But you’ll need to deliver real value.
A strategic network will help build your personal brand and allow you to be introduced as an authority, someone who delivers on commitments, as someone worthy of doing business with.
In today’s ever-changing world, this is the best insurance against the winds of change any individual can invest in. Your very livelihood depends not only on what you know – but who you know, who knows you, and even more importantly, who is promoting you.