Networking vs Relationships!


Thoughts generated through an HBR paper ‘Learn to Love Networking' - Francesca Gino, Maryam Kouchaki, and Tiziana Casciaro.


How many times do you hear this - “I hate networking.”?


We come across many people who tell us that networking makes them feel uncomfortable and phony - even dirty. Although some people have a natural passion for it - namely, the extroverts who love and thrive on social interaction - many understandably see it as brown-nosing, exploitative, and inauthentic.


At the same time examples are available to prove that professional networks lead to:

  • More job and business opportunities,

  • Broder and deeper knowledge,

  • Improved capacity to innovate,

  • Faster advancement, and

  • Greater status and authority


Building and nurturing professional relationships also improves the quality of work and increased job satisfaction.


The HBR article recommends four strategies to help people change their mindset:

  1. Focus on learning

  2. Identify common interests

  3. Think broadly about what you can give

  4. Find a higher purpose


Pick just two from the above: innovation and relationships – both deeply rooted in Organizational Resilience.


Imagination, creativity, (grabbing) opportunity, enthusiasm, inquisitiveness – are part of organizational resilience. Building, Nurturing, and Enhancing relationships (with all relevant interested parties) is important.


Interested Party is simply a replacement for what used to be stakeholder in the past, but with a huge difference. The figure below (from ISO 22313) helps to understand.



Let us replace Networking with Building Relationships – and it will all appear to be positive.


A Resilient Organization will take care of its relationships with all relevant interested parties. It helps to understand that in the past we would not have thought of dependents of staff, competitors, citizens etc. being stakeholders, but they are interested parties for sure and need to be taken care of. The focus on each interested party will vary depending upon the type of the organization. For example – a complaint about a laptop or washing machine or delay in flight (you being the customer – an interested party) is different from complaint at a hospital where the patients and/ or their caretakers are emotionally and physically drained (most likely financially also) while interested party may be the same – you. The hospitals and hospitals’ staff (medical/ non-medical) need to be extra sensitive towards their customers (patients and their care takers).


This is a quick example and explanation on how Organizational Resilience Implementation will need to have a specific approach for each organization depending upon their size, complexity, nature of operations/ industry sector.


The figure below helps us to understand the Interested Parties Cycle:



A Risk Managing, Learning, and Continually Improving organization is a Resilient Organization!


Organisational Resilience is a journey of transformation. It will need dedicated resources – time, money, and efforts!


To understand more, please click on this link to join our Certification Course on CERTIFIED ORGANIZATIONAL RESILIENCE SPECIALIST & IMPLEMENTER - ISO 22316:2017.


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