I have previously spoken about the capturing of opportunities. Obviously your ability to create new opportunities is proportional to not only the size of your network but also your ability to utilise that network and its connectivity.
Within Auckland/ NZ there are only a few degrees of freedom between us all i.e. our networks are well ‘connected’ and therefore act as a great resource for all to exploit. However I don’t believe we utilise these networks as well as we should. Obviously this is a generalisation with both extremes evident.
Those with the ability to or indeed have a large network don’t use it and those that don’t have the network exploit each connection they have as best they can e.g. big corporate/ govt have excess of resources on hand = applying of blinkers in favour of corporate procedure and versus entrepreneurial start-ups = the need to be resourceful with low $$$. Makes sense right.
I simply advocate that the former should take more of a latter approach i.e. larger organisations should try to retain or inject some entrepreneurial spirit/ culture. The result ? Save money & time, increase productivity, increased quality of services/ products and more successful marketing.
Below I have put together a couple of pointers based on building this capability (network connectivity and utilisation) on an individual basis taken from personal experiences:
- Become a Yes Man – Jim Carrey’s movie, Yes Man, summed this up nicely in an extreme since. Go that extra bit further to do something additional in your weekly schedule, something small but significant, something that builds a connection and normally comes in the form of a favour.
- Get paid in favours not $$$ – when you get returned the favour it may be worth more. View it as an investment in your future.
- Connect the dots (people) – provide introductions, connect people together who have similar needs, or those with needs with those with a solution or simply with similar interests. These introductions may bring about a new relationship/ collaboration/ partnering opportunity with you a the centre of its creation.
- Broaden your general knowledge or alternatively specialised knowledge – both have the same effect. Keep up with the latest developments and events. Finding more opportunities sooner allows you to fully exploit #3
- Your opportunities are also your network’s – Getting access to exclusive networks, opportunities or key figures. Not only make create an opportunity for someone in your network.
- Search and Consult – whether its running an event or programme, making a website or setting up a social service perform some market research on it. For a new educational programme; are there any programmes like this out there? Can we leverage off these? Who are likely to be interested in it outside of your primary target market? How can we get them involved? Who has experience in this area or with this market? What are the other channels/networks I can use to market this ? Use your network to find these things out. The common consequence of not doing this is too much segmentation of the market with little interconnection leading to customer confusion and wasting of resources.
- Flexibility – keep part of your weekly schedule open for #1
Graeme @ graemefielder.com