Flourishing Business Networks

Would you say that your personal and professional network is sufficiently diverse for the level of growth your firm anticipates in the next 12, 24, 36 months?

If YES, how can you best leverage your network to be even more valuable to your firm’s growth plans and your personal success?

If NO, where must you start to transform your network(s) to be more relevant and valuable to your colleagues, clients, shareholders and business partners?

My observation is that in the first third of our careers, we are largely growing and refining our networks. In the second third of our career, our networks atrophy into three groups.

(1) Some people we know well who remain highly relevant to our future.

(2) Some people we know well who could remain highly relevant but first, we must consciously and willingly adapt our relationship and how we interact.

(3) Some people we know well who are no longer relevant to our future (retired, past offerings, past expertise, past function).

A great many people will change their frequency of contact with people they know well by accident or circumstance. A minority actually make it a priority to do so. So that in the final third of their career, many people struggle to reinvent themselves and their value to others because their network is largely made up of people, who are no longer highly relevant to their firm’s future.

Rather like roses in the garden, if our future is to be appealing, the seeds of valuable present and future relationships need to planted and watered well (reciprocal help and value offered). Some relationships will bloom every year and others just once or twice before they die. Each Winter, the dead rose plants need to be removed, the flowerbeds weeded and the soil nurtured for the existing roses to bloom again next Summer. Further, there needs to be a commitment to reinvest in new roses each Spring such that every year we add greater variety, colour and freshness.

Is your garden (network) sufficiently seductive for those you wish to attract (ideal buyers, peers, shareholders, business partners) to convince them to spend time in your company (meet) and immerse themselves in your attractive offerings (buy your products, services and relationships)?

© James Berkeley 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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