Networks of flesh and blood: a factor of certainty in the uncertain environment

November 22 2019
INCAE Executive Education

When we talk about "social networks" we tend to think directly about those digital platforms where we share daily in the midst of an unstoppable flow of information that should not always matter to us.

The good thing is that this concept of “social networks” corresponds to something much closer, material and valuable for our professional development.

They are those groups of people with whom we maintain a relationship in our personal, work or academic environment, and that help us reduce the degree of unease in the 'VUCA' world in which we operate (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous).

Of course, the digital field is part of that relationship with networks, a modern flank of networking, but there is a lot of work that we must do before to take advantage of in a healthy way those human networks of which we are part.

Is what warns Patricia Cauqui, recognized international expert in coaching and personal branding, from her position as a teacher in INCAE Business School. He talks about the importance of 'offline' networks and the value of "you to you" to create and keep alive well understood networks of contacts, those that in Latin countries they provide at least 70% of jobs.

This is true for all people in the professional world, but it becomes relevant for women, considering the greater demand for time imposed on them by social habits and, therefore, the greater difficulty of dedicating time to cultivating that “networking” and making visible the good work that goes on daily.

Visibility in the different spaces, existing in them, nurturing and nurturing. Get out of the immediate routine environment. Attend events in our area of ​​expertise. Accept to go beyond what we know. Meet people and stay close to those who generate value for us, without necessarily being a utilitarian interest.

Take advantage of a short breakfast, an afternoon coffee or a lunch away from the office; a nearby conference, a golf game or any playful activity where people tend to behave more naturally. It can be difficult to get the time between work and family, yes, but it is necessary to be able to show and expand.

Because it would be a mistake to expect "divine justice," warns Professor Cauqui. "Only on rare occasions does someone come to you because you are a woman who does her job very well to promote you and encourage you to grow. No, it is best to do that work on your own, make visible and channel an image according to the purposes we have", he assures.

It is about knowing how to attend the networks in three planes: the operational (the daily work team and the counterparts of each day), the personnel (not neglecting the private plane, which has a high support value) and the strategic one. "This is the one most often neglected by women", Cauqui points out, referring to circles of people with good information, well connected, with key positions and with the potential to generate opportunities. "These are what move you," he says before advising to seek creative ways to be close to these networks.

Only later comes the other part: the online one. "There is no digital life without real life", says Cauqui, so it is advisable to have a personal brand well refined, the definition of clients and objectives, hopefully written and at hand to go to them frequently. This has methods that can be perfected by the hand of other experts. The rest is to be constant and patient, that the well-prepared ground will pay off.


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