The game is called “17 in ’17,” and it involves Lin and I selecting 17 participants each, for whom we will make at least one introduction in 2017.
Participants could be introduced to people in each of our networks, or to each other. To participate, please complete this brief survey which will help us with selection and matching.
An exercise in transformational networking
17 in ’17 is designed as an exercise in transformational networking, which Lin, an award-winning writer and author of So You Think You Can’t Network, A guide to using your connections as resources describes as being distinct from the standard transactional approach of collecting business cards and contacts. Instead, it seeks to create instant opportunities for mutual assistance and further connections. Lin’s company Netsheila works with clients to expand their resources by leveraging their existing contacts.
“The key is the point of entry into transformational networking is the willingness to share your needs and your intent in having those needs fulfilled. Sharing your needs and intent brings you immediately into focused discussion of how you and your new connection can quickly help each other. It also creates a marker in the mind for when you become aware of people and resources that can help your networking partners, and ultimately, become able to see how you can connect different people in their network to make more and more of a difference.”
An opportunity for IABC and Business Communicators
While the 17 in ’17 game is open to entries from all, I see transformational networking as a real growth opportunity for business communicators and am thrilled that Lin and I will lead workshops both at IABC EuroComm in London in March and IABC World Conference in Washington in June. The role of communicators as influencers is increasingly becoming recognized as a huge part of the value we deliver, and our ability to quickly initiate beneficial connections in our organizations and markets produces real impact beyond what get created through messaging and management.
Lin reinforces that point by saying:
“Networking is much less a set of skills and much more an applied philosophy. In a way, it’s organized generosity – sharing your connections with people who can do great things with them. It’s also a generous way of growing your own power and influence in a community, and of sharing your own needs with people who can help you. That’s worth a lot more than a stack of business cards at the end of a conference.”
To enter to play 17 in ’17, please complete the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/17in17