‘Six degrees of separation’The process of networking itself frequently results in some genuine surprises - e.g. in terms of ‘who knows who’ and who you may ultimately link into ... and end up building a firm new relationship with.Of relevance here is the theory of the ‘Six degrees of separation’ - the notion that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. (Whatis.com)Key principlesSize matters (as well as quality)•Formal and informal networks form a ‘greater whole’ and add value to each of ‘the parts’ which make them up.•The larger the first zone network you create, the larger the second zone network you can potentially tap into.•This is true for both customer and industry networks.•The size of scope of your networking is only limited by the capacity of your resources to successfully manage the process. (Something new technologies and softwares can simplify a lot! But data entry and management can be resource and time intense too.)•Smaller levels of resourcing simply require great care and thought in the directions and priorities pursued, along with the levels of planning engaged in.
Networking: Definitions & PrinciplesBy Bruce Dickson, Tourism Development SolutionsNetworking 101: The Basics1. ‘Networks’Networks are systems of interconnected people and organizations. Whether formal or informal, business-based or personal (and they can be both).2. ‘Networking’Networking is the process of making contacts and building & maintaining the personal (and/or organizational) relationships that can result. Some key factors:•People tend to mix with others like themselves.•Relationships remain a basic human need.•Repeated contact and interaction with your networks helps build trust & understanding and encourage co-operation.•Networking helps you build relationships for personal and organizational success.•Networking makes great business sense. 3. Underlying factorsIt’s a small world - your direct and indirect zones of contactNetworks also comprise zones of contact - the first being the immediate or ‘first contact’ contact zone and then (linked through and beyond that zone) ever expanding waves of indirect contacts.The mathematics: If the first stage of your personal or business network contained 100 relationships and each of these knew a further 100 contacts, then the expanded scope of the network opened up for potential development is 1,000 relationships. This helps to explain why it really can be a ‘small world’, no matter where you are based. (And the Internet and social media now add their own mind boggling dimensions here.)
“Networking initiatives & fresh opportunities for partnership development are frequently closely connected.”