I find it very impressive when a group of people gets together and achieves a result that is bigger than the sum of the individuals of that group – The collective is extraordinary.
The power of networks have always been there, but with the increased instant communication and virtual connections they have gained additional importance. It is easier to find an expert for any topic just by looking at the internet.
Keeping networks alive
Establishing networks requires lots of effort and many people mix this with the ability to share information. Networks need to be nourished and constant feedback and interaction while sharing information is more a one-way stream. I think the big difference is on the interaction that is required to properly establish and then leverage the power of networks.
I find it even more important to have a good mix between virtual and personal (face-to-face) networks. The combination of both for me make it real.
Leveraging the power of networks
One has to remember that while it seems easy to grow a network, getting proper results and benefits from it is a long term investment. One are to nurture and keep the networks alive and wait for the right opportunity to ripe some benefits.
I think that this will be even more important towards the future and we have to start preparing our networks early on in our careers so that once we get to a more broad position we can properly leverage the investment done through many years of connection and effort to keep our networks updated and alive.
I find this article quite simple and provides some very quick tips on how to use Linkedin as a tool to develop networks… but never forget that personal contacts should be part of the network and complementary to a virtual network.