Rethinking Networking

One of the modules I teach involves the use of case studies to bring key Human Resources issues to life. A recent theme was learning and development, with one of the questions asking students to think about learning via networks. This generated some confusion. Isn’t networking about circulating a room, making uncomfortable small talk and handing out your business card? Where is the learning in that?  Continue reading “Rethinking Networking”

#CIPD14 Buzz Word: Collaboration


Having now attended three sessions at the CIPD Annual Conference, there’s already some key links emerging. Interesting really as this is inherent to the nature of the common thread I’m seeing. Links between people and links between businesses are creating a powerful concentration of skills that were traditionally disparate. It’s this power that is driving the most innovative companies today.

Traditional networking, consisting of circulating the room, churning out small talk and collecting business cards that are quickly discarded afterwards, is dead. Networks are building pyramid style from connections between individuals, to connections between departments to connections between companies. It’s competitive advantage squared.

Everyone needs to realise this. There’s still too many barriers that need to be smashed, and quickly. Unfortunately the senior leaders who are crying out for innovation are also the ones preventing it from happening. There’s too much focus on rigid structures and rigid job roles, and an associated mistrust of remote and flexible workers.

No longer can HR be the lone voice calling for agility. We need to use our networks. We need to collaborate.