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PWCC Blog: Networking as Building a Hive, Not a Car

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 4, 2018

PWCC Blog: Networking as Building a Hive, Not a Car

This blog will tie together the new “organization as organism” model to the increasing need for “soft skills” training in the workplace to networking.  Bear with me.

Much is currently being researched and written about the need for organizations to move from a hierarchical model to a hive.  No more top-down edicts but more hive-like interaction.

McKinsey’s The Five Trademarks of Agile Organizations outlines this need for change.

Traditional models for organizations (think Ford Motor Company) were built upon hierarchy and specialization: leaders made decisions and departments implemented them.  Each department specialized in a discrete skill needed to implement their portion of the decision.

Today, organizations that meet the demand for quick responses to market demands rely on creative, disruptive problem-solving across departments.  There is little hierarchy especially because the best problem-solving includes multiple voices and perspectives looking simultaneously at the same problem. Inside-out, collaborative.

And while companies are perfecting their data analytic skills to offer customers nimble measures of success, little attention is paid to the need for communication and collaboration training to ensure that co-workers know how to share data and projects that lead to solving client’s problems and winning new business.

Scope Logic’s The Importance of Collaboration in the Workforce outlines the need for these “softer skills” in the age of digital everything:

“When your teams are collaborating, they are essentially learning new things from each other. Your organization becomes a body which encourages a culture of continuous learning, and supports that learning through opportunities for growth and development, as well as through safety nets for failures. Whenever team members collaborate, they enhance their capacity to go and grow beyond their comfort zones and take your business to new heights.”

And thus back to networking.

While some may approach networking as the means to an end – new business, say – this approach looks like the traditional approach to business: make a decision and find someone to implement it.

True networking is necessarily collaborative. Think about viewing networking from Scope Logic’s lens: true networking allows you to learn new things, develop relationships that support opportunities for growth and, and enhance your professional savvy.

But true networking demands you enter the relationships as a worker bee, looking to build something beyond yourself within your network.  You’re going to have to give to the hive in order to benefit from it.

Submitted by:  Carol Jambor-Smith, Principal and Founder, Jambor-Smith Communications

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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