I [heart] Networks

I had the privilege of working with Beth Kanter via my old org years ago, and have been addicted to her smartness ever since. A year plus into my independent consulting practice, I've been doing a lot of work to move it in a direction that works best for both me and my clients. This is not the first time I've gone to Beth's blog and found a post that brilliantly articulated something I've been thinking about. Yesterday, she posted about Integrating a Network Mindset Into Your Daily Work. Here are some highlights:

Adopting a networked mindset is believing in abundance rather than scarcity. Scarcity thinking is the conviction that we need to do everything ourselves. That holds us back from embracing networked ways of working. ...

You can more efficient. For example, turning to your professional online networks can help save you time because you don’t need to know everything about a topic area.

For over a decade, I worked as either part of a tech-focused team, collaborating with others to get things done, or as the creator and leader of a team to get mission work done via tech tools. I do my best work in this kind of collaborative environment. Now out on my own as a consultant, I naturally gravitate toward re-creating this collaborative style in my own practice. If this is how you roll, too, then you know social media is transformative: it allows you to regularly communicate and share ideas with smart colleagues located all over the place.

As my consulting practice develops, I find more ways to take advantage of this innovation. It's easier and easier to build or participate in collaborative teams with the best experts for a project, no matter where they're located. Even when the best expert for a project is not me, my ever-growing list of other consultants and experts to whom I can refer a client in need is invaluable to me.

The graphic in this post was made with the free LinkedIn network mapping tool that Beth mentioned in her post. That big dark blue hub to the left of my name in the graphic is Beth. It's pretty dense over there. As Beth suggests, I will be looking at this map more closely to see what I can learn from it. But one thing I know: it's pretty!