I surround myself with fellow travelers. Networks are the new companies. None of us create value all by ourselves; it\’s our connectedness that let\’s us create work. We’re doing stuff with other people. And these people–a network, using the more technical term–in our lives shape who we are (by influencing what you think about) and what we make (by helping us get things done). So I am pretty thoughtful about who gets on my calendar and making sure to stay in touch whose opinions and ideas I want to shape mine.
Employers have always known that employees are their best assets. If they aren’t engaged and passionate about the products or services they represent, then how can their customers feel the same?
It’s every employer’s dream to have fully engaged staff talking about the amazing benefits of the products or services the company offers, and positioning the company the way the founders intended. Social media has made this a lot easier, but ironically social media has also made the relationship between employees and employers somewhat awkward.
While career coaches and success gurus expound on the virtues of networking—especially in a down economy—some professionals take it too far. Management and addiction specialists say they are seeing more people compulsively attending events, obsessively growing the number of their connections online and wearing themselves out with little too show for it.
Today, with the help of computers – PCs, tablets, smartphones, etc. – and the Internet, inter-human cooperation – networking – even with people on the other side of the world, has become much easier. Nothing illustrates our eagerness to cooperate with others better than the wildfire spread of Internet social networking. The special value to businesses of such instant collaboration tools has only recently been fully appreciated. Facilitating the pooling of an organization’s brainpower is increasingly recognized as an enormous productivity booster. That recognition accounts for the fast-growing popularity of a new type of Internet service called enterprise social networking – a sort of blend of Twitter and Facebook that’s secure and configurable so that it can be restricted to a predefined set of users or groups. One such enterprise social network operation is Yammer – a San Francisco based company recently acquired by Microsoft for 1.2 Billion – whose revenue is reported in The Economist to have grown by 132% last year alone.
You’ve likely heard of LinkedIn, the business-oriented social networking website that many people use for keeping in touch with business associates, clients, and former colleagues.
But is this LinkedIn’s only use? Or can you use it in other ways to grow yourself professionally and help your organization to network more effectively?
In this article, we’ll explore how to use LinkedIn for personal, professional, and organizational development, including how you can use it for networking and recruitment, and for keeping up with trends and news in your industry.