Networking: The roots of your business

Is our success in business as dependent on networking as we think? The answer is “yes”.

That seemed to be the general consensus at the CIBC Presents Entrepreneurship 101 session on December 17th. An interesting aspect to this is: if you polled 100 people 15 years ago and asked them what had made them successful in their chosen career, perhaps 1-5 people might have said being a part of “the old boy’s network” or meeting the right people at the right time. They would not have said that networking is a strategy — a learned skill that is essential to growing your business or getting a job.

Another interesting “historicism” that came out of the session discussion was the renewed emphasis on resilience as a factor for success in times of economic crisis. In bad times, the need to be both resilient and downright dogged is raised exponentially.

A side bar to the discussion was the interview process and the complexity which now often accompanies it. Personality tests, five to eight interviews with different people, multiple interviews with the key decision maker for the hiring – all these are now in common practice. Some companies are also using a new technique of staging multiple mini interviews with groups of candidates – these interviews test the all-important “softer” skills.

Technology, too, is changing the interview landscape; some companies are now using “Second Life” as an interviewing tool. The candidate picks an avatar and is then interviewed by the company avatar. How does one know how to ace this kind of scenario? This might become another important skill for the job seeker or the entrepreneur seeking partnerships with other companies.

Downloads and resources

Weren’t able to attend the class? Need some notes or want to look something up? Click below for all of the goodies from the lecture. Watch the video and the slide presentation below.