Your Personal Network of Business AssociatesAs a follow-up to my earlier post on organizational network analysis, I'd like to call attention to Rob Cross's enumeration of the dimensions you should consider in cultivating your own personal network of associates.
Prof. Cross recommends thinking in terms of:
- Position in the hierarchy You need contacts at all levels.
- Business unit and departmental position Especially as you rise in your organization, you benefit from contacts across business units and departments.
- Physical proximity Thank goodness for modern communications. There is no reason nowadays to restrict regular contact to people in close physical proximity.
- Structured interactions Remember that informal contacts (as opposed to formal meetings) can be enormously valuable for learning, strategizing, and getting tasks accomplished expeditiously.
- Time invested in maintaining relationships Match the time you invest to the importance of each relationship.
- Length of acquaintanceship You need a range from long-time confidantes, to recent additions who bring you fresh ideas and feedback.