Author Profile Picture

Cris Beswick

Author, Speaker + Strategic Advisor on Innovation

Read more from Cris Beswick

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Collaborative Networking

default-16x9

Have you networked recently? Just indulge my curiosity and do me a favour. Think back over the last week and count up how many people you have spoken with. Could be friends or family, could be colleagues or contacts or even the person in the coffee shop; it doesn’t really matter who it is, what is important is that every time you have spoken with someone you have in effect networked.

You may not see it like that. Surely chatting in the pub with friends or over a glass of wine with a partner isn’t networking? But how many times has a casual remark led to new contact, a new idea, or the solution to a problem. You see, networking is all about making connections and the more open you are to those connections, the greater the potential.

It’s an area which weaves strongly into the building of a culture of innovation. One of the key traits of Next Generation Organisations, those which are going to create the future, is not just the ability to collaborate but being open to collaboration. And when we talk about collaboration in terms of innovation we are opening up the ideas matrix to anyone and everyone who can help us to create realistic, affordable and customer centred solutions.

But how do you train someone to network collaboratively? If you tell them just to go out and chat then you may finish up with some surprising ideas and exchanges of information but they may not be the ones which will drive development. No; if you want your people to be open to ideas sharing in the right way then you have to train them in areas such as communication, listening skills and empathy. And that training should not be confined solely to the higher echelons of the organisation. Good ideas can come from anywhere and therefore everyone should have a chance to gain the skills which they need for effective communication and collaboration.

If knowing how to communicate is one thing, knowing what to communicate is another. If you persist in confining your people in isolated boxes they will have little chance of even knowing what the problem is, let alone collaborating to find the solution. The better they understand the picture, the better able they will be to discuss and create cohesive solutions. It is surprising how often customer dissatisfaction arises simply because one department is not communicating effectively with another. So take time out to train your people not just in the strategy, beliefs and behaviours of the organisation but also give them an insight into the challenges and day-to-day operations of departments right across the company.

In an interconnected world we can no longer rely on silos and isolationism to create results. Collaborative networking gives us the chance to open businesses up to discuss and receive ideas from anywhere which will deliver real customer value in the long term.

If you’d like to learn more about shaping the future through adopting an innovation culture feel free to email Cris at [email protected] or visit www.thefutureshapers.com for more information on how Cris and his team help some of the worlds smartest companies succeed through innovation.

Author Profile Picture
Cris Beswick

Author, Speaker + Strategic Advisor on Innovation

Read more from Cris Beswick
Newsletter

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

 

Thank you!