Archive for the ‘social networking’ Tag

Leisure Time, Valuable Business Networking for Alliances   Leave a comment

Leisure and business go hand in hand when you enjoy both.

I was biking with my wife this week end, for family business and leisure together. We stopped to consider how to overcome an obstacle just at the same time as another wanderer did, much for the same reason.

This was an obvious foreigner, if fluent in Italian.
Her request to take a picture of her prompted me to offer a business card. She shared hers and we exchanged some more details about our interests. Beyond wandering in the neighbourhood, that each of us obviously enjoys, our business focus is similar, and our similar age gets us reviewing priorities and approaches during middle age and a global business crisis.
As it turned out, all the three of us have a business in helping organizations do business together.

We have invited each other to visit and may well meet again. If we do, it will most likely for leisurely biking (and triking) together before we ever consider business.
Still, it is amazing how we complement each other’s business. The other wanderer provides a technical capability in South East Asian languages and business culture – delivered in our town; my wife may well need this in her business, and my alliances activity becomes stronger whenever a similar option comes to enrich it.

Assessing an acquaintance will be an exercise and an investment in alliances, as well as a welcome pastime.

Traveling and Meeting People – Good for Alliances – Surprisingly So   Leave a comment

So much, so obvious: alliances are a relationship business, and meeting in person strengthen relationships.
What is surprising?

Let’s start from the beginning: to make the most of precious traveling, I have sought friends and fellow alliances colleagues in my latest trips.

I have refreshed and strengthened personal relations, including with:

  • Alliances colleagues I have known online and first met in person thanks to these very trips,
  • Colleagues turned into friends that I had last seen 15 years ago
  • Persons that provided services to my company, that I am befriending and together we just thought up some activity together that it will be nice and rewarding even to try, let alone actually do!
  • Former colleagues who did my very same job few years ago and shared invaluable experiences on how similar and how different is what they do now. For some of them, I feel like what I do has changed more than what they do.

It has been an invaluable development experience for me. What has made this especially significant for alliances?

First, each and every person I met was surprised by this approach. Of course, positive surprise makes meetings and relations warmer and more useful.
Here is a reminder of the value of innovation and of personal touch. And a reminder that innovation is sometimes very, very simple and stems from applying very basic principles – such as my doing justice to the value of travel.

Second, in addition to strengthened relationships, these meetings generated new business insight and opportunity that just was absent from our minds before we met.
I take this as a testament to the value of alliances, defined as professional management of relationships to pursue value that derives from how the entities in the relationship complement each other. However simple, however small, this has been alliances management, and has created tangible value alongside the intangible pleasure of  bonding.

Finanza Etica – Ethical Finance: You Better Think then Act   Leave a comment

Naturalmente nel senso di – as in The Blues Brothers’ song by Aretha Franklin of course.
La discussione in italiano è oltre.

*** English commentary ***

Over January and February I had the opportunity to attend a valuable course (in Italian, as most of the discussion below will be), organized by Valori, a magazine about social economics, ethical finance and sustainability.

Two key lessons from that course: that free markets are good, yet most markets we see are barely free, and that people who want to learn more about this also want to involve friends and colleagues in discussing and practicing conclusions from the course.

I believe what we are trying to do, in this course and elsewhere, is reviewing after the 2007 “financial crisis” the balance each of us had achieved between different mental models of finance and business, with very different assumptions about the value and role of regulation in a market economy.

It will be interesting to watch how this effort will evolve after the course, as each of us who attended and taught grapples with change, individually and with others.
For instance, some of us are currently considering how to leverage our social networking tools and skills to support broader discussion and collaboration on these lines.

*** Discussione in italiano ***

Ho appena seguito il corso di finanza e finanza etica di Valori. Il corso ha toccato diversi temi con una utile varietà di punti di vista tra i vari docenti. Era naturalmente incentrato su una interpretazione della situazione finanziaria attuale, dopo la “crisi finanziaria” del 2007, che raccomanda di introdurre meccanismi di controllo significativi per i mercati finanziari – meccanismi peraltro di ispirazione ben più liberale che non socialista, marxista o comunque ostile al’economia di mercato in senso proprio.

E’ stato un corso sostanzialmente divulgativo, per non specialisti desiderosi però di applicare le conclusioni della discussione nelle scelte economiche e finanziarie quotidiane di ciascuno, e delle associazioni cui partecipiamo. Per questo, e grazie all’apertura e alla disponibilità dei docenti, la discussione è stata intensa.

In eventuali edizioni future credo sarà utile sfruttare questa impostazione dando più spazio alle dottrine (neo)liberiste e articolando meglio la loro critica. Molti dei partecipanti infatti vengono da una formazione fortemente critica nei confronti di aspetti importanti dell’economia di mercato e del ruolo recente della finanza nell’economia delle famiglie e delle aziende del mondo occidentale. La crisi del 2007 rafforza in chi di noi ha questo retroterra la spinta a schematizzare la valutazione dei meccanismi di mercato e dei mercati finanziari, almeno quanto chi di noi ha una formazione più liberista ha interiorizzato negli ultimi decenni una valutazione semplicistica della regolamentazione dei mercati.

Già durante il corso alcuni docenti e molti partecipanti hanno cominciato a distribuire materiali a complemento delle lezioni. E sempre durante il corso diversi docenti e insegnanti hanno proposto di coinvolgere anche altri nella discussione e nella comunicazione di questi temi.

Proprio in questi giorni con alcuni dei partecipanti stiamo cominciando a confrontarci su come utilizzare anche strumenti di social networking per favorire la comunicazione delle conclusioni raggiunte, e soprattutto la collaborazione tra persone e organizzazioni nell’applicarle alla pratica quotidiana. Cosa ne uscirà?

Focus Helps Effective Social Networking   Leave a comment

The world of alliances, more than a few other businesses, gives plenty of opportunity to obtain, then seek to cultivate, more and more contacts.
Add online social networking, and you may well find yourself on a slippery slope towards collecting contacts for the sake of contacts, like stamps or PEZ boxes.
Yes, I have been there, and there were many of us. I have moved on since, and quite a few have yet to do the same.

Months ago, Lou Dubois published this valuable summary of how to make your social networking effective. As all good summaries, it articulates in one convenient place many good known points.

Plus, I found one new, powerful tool for focused networking: its classification of contacts in five categories.
The five definitions are easy to apply, with tangible criteria that make immediate sense. Most importantly, mapping my contacts to these categories makes it very easy to see how to gauge what they mean, and what I likely mean for them.

This drives a strong case in favour of keeping your contact network streamlined. A welcome support of what I had earlier experimented with streamlining my LinkedIn network.

As chance would have it, my experience and this article were just two days apart, even as it took me until today (and a useful twit by @FrancineAllaire) to connect them.

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