(This is from Edition 31 of The Upleveler)
We've all been told to 'network'. By that, our well-wishers mean connecting with people so that it helps with:
Career advancement (finding new opportunities etc.)
Building political capital (helps when you need a favour or need resources)
Staying informed (we are a social species and the right information learned early can be useful)
Selling and spreading word of your wares
However, with your future relevance in mind, there are two specific flavours of networks you should consider building:
1. A "Challenge Network": We came across this in a book called 'The Innovator's DNA'. When you have a new idea (for a project, in the space of innovation, for a new professional path etc.), you should have someone critique it. The problem? Finding the right set of people to give straightforward feedback. Some may stay away from fear of hurting your feelings and others may enjoy doing just that!
So we need people whom we can show ideas in their nascent form and will help us 'challenge' them in a 'safe' environment', where they are empowered to speak their mind but in a respectful way. Because ideas evolve and keep coming, you also want people who will lend you an ear more than once.
2. A "Foresight Network": This network helps you get wind of changing trends and shifting sands. How do you get the right information and build perspective about the future? This network should bring you knowledge about how your future environment will look like.
How to build these kinds of networks?
You are unlikely to be able to build such networks in conventional ways, such as showing up at the usual networking events or by exchanging emails on projects.
So how do you do this? Mull over this and share your ideas with us in the comments section!
Add us to your network! Subscribe to The Upleveler.