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  • Virginio Gallardo 9:00 am on February 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , networking, , professional brand   

    The revolution is called ‘social networking’, not ‘personal branding’ 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: Virginio Gallardo has allowed us to publish this article from his blog where he reflects on how social networks force us to reinvent ourselves professionally and become ‘social networkers.’ We wanted to post it since we share his ideas on how technology, and more specially, social networks transform environments and ways of working. At Zyncro we are prepared for this revolution, what about you?

    Many already understand that social networks bring the promise of a revolution without precedents in our work environment, but based on old paradigms, they basically think that it is a form of networking, a way of promoting their ‘personal brand’, more than a new professional environment. The revolution isn’t called ‘personal branding’, rather ‘social networking’.

    The social networks are perceived by many professionals as a medium that they must be present in to be found, to network and earn notoriety, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

    The impact of social networks on our professional lives promises to be much deeper. They represent a new work environment where connectivity will be the equivalent to professional efficiency that will form part of our way of understanding work.

    Professional branding and the promotion showcase

    More than a decade and a half has passed since Tom Peters wrote his renowned The Brand Called You. Personal branding as a concept has spread and now is living its golden age with social networks.

    Linkedin was the first step for most professionals in approaching social networks from a professional point of view, seeking to be found, as a macro-agenda, and a tool for employability. However, they gradually heard of and included other social networks initially with the same purposes, but above all, seeking to increase ‘employability’ through personal branding.

    Silently, the Internet has been gradually filled with notoriety search engines. More and more professionals affirm in a loud voice that “if you aren’t on the net, you don’t exist” and basing themselves on the old Machiavellian quote: “Many see what you seem, few know what you are”, try to create themselves an image that “has a high engagement with the target audience.” They seek to become more notorious, more ‘employable’, known by customers/employers and build an ‘appearance’ in line with what is expected of ‘new professionals.’

    The new magic words that start to dominate are called Klout, promotion, impact, relevent benefit for our audience, emotional warmth in communication and conversation… Words that are confused with acronyms and Internet analysis software, with promises of going quicker in what seems to them to be a wacky race that lets them reach the clouds in ‘notoriety on the Internet.’

    The internet as an environment of professional evolution and reinvention

    There is another group of ‘professionals’ for whom the social networks is something deeper, a open door towards a new reality, a virtual reality that provides them with something more than just multiplying professional connections. It provides them with learning to create new forms of professional evolution, to share and reinvent themselves.

    Some of these professionals consider that it is a door of light as opposed to the darkness that their organizations and immediate environment live in, where their voices and concerns are not heard, hold no interest or where they don’t know who to talk to.

    If we learn to listen to the sound of the network, we can hear how the shout of many professionals from the loneliness is answered by kindred hearts often thousands of miles away, sometimes in other countries, sometimes in other languages, but from those you can really communicate with.

    It is another source of information with increasing importance and relevance that complements those that come from their traditional environment. It is a door that many cross without realizing, after having entered for reasons associated with searching for “employability” and notoriety.

    Social networks are the place where you can connect knowledge, ideas, intuition and emotions with those who share common interests or think professionally like you, something sociologists dub communities or tribes.

    For many, social networks ensure the expansion of your ideas. Innovation is ensuring that you form part of the change, that you form part of a community by sharing what moves and interests you.

    The revolution underway: socialnetworkers

    Although these phenomena are important, we imagine that the impact of the Internet will be so complex and deep that it will build a new work environment, a new way of understanding work.

    Social networks will give rise to a new phenomenon that we could call social networking. The socialnetworker uses the social networks to find clients, partners, suppliers, ‘employability’, efficiency, creativity, ideas, knowledge and personal development based on the philosophy of sharing, with their connectivity rather than their notoriety being a fundamental part of their value as a professional, as their resources are on the Internet and they work in networks.

    Although the future is difficult to predict, we can imagine how this new work environment will evolve by analyzing current phenomena like KnowmadsKnowmads, microbusinesspeople or freelancers are knowledge professionals and innovation instigators that are extremely flexible and concerned about their connections and personal development on the Internet, but what makes them real socialnetworkers is they work in networks.

    The socialnetworker uses their connections on social networks as a fundamental base for their work to create or improve goods or services, they use the social networks to optimize their work, as the Knowmads currently do, but in this case for their companies. Will this be our future use of the Internet?

    The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different. We know that it is no use looking with yesterday’s eyes at what will take place tomorrow, because it is not about finding old paths, it’s about creating them and knowing how it will affect us in moving forward or at least being prepared.

    Are you ready for the impact of the social networks?

    Virginio Gallardo is Director of Humannova, a HR consultancy specialized in helping lead innovation in companies and manage the organizational transformation. He is author of the book “Liderazgo transformacional” and coordinator of “Liderazgo e Innovación 2.0”. This post was originally published on “Supervivencia Directiva“, where you can follow his thoughts.

     

     
  • Joan Alvares 10:01 am on March 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: calling cards, networking,   

    Networking or not-working? 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Social media cartoon

    Image: courtesy of geekculture.com

     

    I’ll admit, I find the whole thing a drag. ‘Networking’ is one of those words that is totally abused nowadays in business.

    But despite my reservations towards this type of events, over the last year I’ve participated in a dozen or so, compelled by my curiosity to solve a doubt I’ve been pondering for some time: whether these events really are any use in doing business or whether, as I suspect, most of them are more like a business cattle market, where most participants go with the sole purpose of finding customers and where hardly any serious relationships come out of it as a result.

    Tips like the two below, heard from the mouths of networking ‘experts’, makes me further believe in the second option:

     

    1. “Go loaded with cards”

    According to this theory, the greater the number of cards you hand out, the greater the possibility of generating business. To do this, you need to talk to as many people as possible, without any one individual stealing too much of your time as you can miss out on the chance to continue handing out cards.

    When you get home, you’ll sort all those cards you’ve received, and before throwing them in the trash, you’ll send information on your company to each of those emails. They’ll answer you with a thanks. And you’ll answer them back with a thanks.

    And suddenly you’ll have 20 new companies spamming your inboxes.

    2. “Sell your company in a few words”

    At a networking event, people don’t have time to lose. So to help solve this, many events use the speed-dating format. You’ll try to make the most of that short time to sell your company or project. A sort of I’ve got you here so I’m going to sell to you. When you actually let your interlocutor speak, he or she will try to the same with you.

    In reality, you’ll only listen to see if they can help you. And they’ll do the same.

    If at some stage you detect that they could be a potential customer, you’ll try to impress them. They’ll probably do the same. Then, switch partners. And if I’ve seen you, well I don’t remember.

     

    I think the spirit of networking has nothing to do with any of these tips. Improving your network of contacts doesn’t mean increasing them in number, rather optimizing them in quality. In order to get contacts, it is just as important to know how to speak as to know how to listen. Finding someone who can help is just as useful as finding someone who can help you. In short, it’s about giving value.

    Why not try the following exercise: the next time someone is explaining their business to you, think of the best contact you could present them to.

    Practise 69: it doesn’t matter what you expect to receive.

     

    Joan Alvares is founding partner of Poko and lecturer at Istituto Europeo di Design

     

     
  • Ignasi Alcalde 9:30 am on February 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , conspiracy, , freeriding, , networking, ,   

    Workneting and collaboration networks 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Collaborative workMuch has been said, written and speculated about collaboration and co-creation on collaboration networks and about collaborative work. Networking and relations are important for getting work, but when commencing projects through collective, joint work, what is really important is workneting, in other words, starting lasting professional relationships.

    Workneting means a true collaboration that cannot be forced, which is more than just coordinating efforts, as individuals decide whether to collaborate or not, and their decision is both emotional and rational. It is people, the project and ultimately the tool and/or software that gives value and meaning to the collaboration.

    How do I start and maintain a collaboration network?

    Essentially, in line with what I mentioned in my post Why do people share knowledge?, among the many other factors, there are two basic conditions: matched expectations and unmatched knowledge.

    Regardless of the collaboration network type, there are 3 types of problems that we come across in collaboration networks and collaborative work that need to be taken into account:

    • Freeriding: In a collaboration network, relations are sustained by fairness in contributions. When someone gives back little or nothing at all at an insufficient rate and takes advantage of other’s contributions, the “freeriding” phenomenon occurs, which takes its name from those that use the subway without paying: the group has contributed to create an infrastructure/service and there are those that don’t collaborate in maintaining it.
    • Crowdsourcing: Another problem that wears with this is that at times, “crowdsourcing” occurs where a privileged agent takes credit for all the creativity of the group (e.g. a company). If the rules are clear and indicate who will use the result of the group’s creativity, then there is no basis for complaint if the person who called the “crowdsourcing” uses the results.
    • Conspiracy: Networks are established on trust. Trust is expectations on the capacity for commitment and response, on the other person’s competence, on the people we collaborate with. Complete sustained trust generates and stabilizes a reputation. But the reputation can be easily broken if the group decides to reduce the positive evaluation and reputation of an element on the network after each interaction or collaboration. The mechanism can be extremely quick and difficult to detect in systems that base their evaluation on people’s votes.

    As we can see, in an ideal team-collaboration experience we must be able to detect who’s committed as opposed to who is frustrated, as this can determine the team’s performance.

     

    Ignasi Alcalde is a multimedia consultant at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Once again, he has wanted to share his thoughts on collaborative work, which he usually publishes on his blog and on his Twitter timeline.

    We fully recommend all his previous articles!

     

     
  • Yolanda Torres 10:25 am on June 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , networking   

    Networking 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    The first time I heard the word devirtualization, I pulled the same face as when I heard the word workaholic when I was very young and on my way back from Ibiza and thought;  Blimey! A work addiction!  Who would have known that with time and in some kind of way I would fit into that category :(.

    Being an entrepreneur or a perfectionist or simply just enjoying one’s work results in a certain degree of workaholism and it is not such a big deal.

    But today I would like to reflect upon devirtualization or networking 2.0. Having focussed the last 20 years on communication, public relations and the B2B sector, I find it strange that some professionals have difficulties networking offline, having to devirtualize.  Let us remind ourselves of an old concept: beware, the web withstands almost everything but it is when we come face to face that we must demonstrate that which we implied online.

    It is within this online world that I began to move around freely or at least (and in complete modesty), I begin to understand its mechanisms and have gathered that the biggest business successes are down to executive profiles that possess a huge capacity for empathy and knowledge offline.  Luis Font CEO at Zyncro :) , is a good example, perfectly representing the ability to integrate an extensive knowledge about the online world as well as having an incredible knack for offline communication. I strongly recommend you attend ComunícaME, free master class for management at which Corporate Social Networks will be a topic for discussion and you will have a chance to enjoy a talk given by Luis Font and where you can get an understanding of what I am talking about:   

    • Communication/empathy
    • Strength and power of conviction
    • Ability to analise and leadership
    • Transparency and security
    • In depth knowledge on the subject

    These are just some of the qualities a good speaker should have in order to get the audience attention.  By means of a speech or public act PRESCRIPTIVE NETWORKING is generated, one of the most valuable in the on/off world.

    For all of you whom may not need that level networking, but are interested in generating contacts as and when there is a need, we will begin with:

    • Taking an interest in what happens in the off world relating to our sector.
    • Hold conversations with professionals/ people we know and happen to find interesting
    • Greet, make conversation and start discussions in our day to day lives (when at the shops, taking the tube, walking through the neighbourhood, greeting the neighbours…)
    • It is purely about training ourselves to have the ability to be able to speak with empathy!!!

    We make mountains out of molehills when communication is but this: the ability possessed by human beings to express our ideas and feelings, networking takes advantage of this skill and granting it a professional outcome.

    As Seth Godin says in a post about intimacy, synchronisation, a phone call at the right time with a smile face to face can achieve more within B2B than dozens of e-mails.

    We tend to risk or even lose a future professional relationship: job interview, presentation, sale, purchase… everything takes place face to face.

    Let’s not be naïve, the on world allows us to access a huge amount of information and people that we would not otherwise have access to at all providing us with many tools that facilitate personal and professional communication; but we must not forget that behind each computer there is a person and that tools exist for one objective: COMMUNICATION :)

    What do you think about the definition of networking?

    Do you identify yourselves with any of the situations mentioned in the post?

    Happy Thursday everyone!

     

     
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