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Monthly Exercise: Networking for Innovation



Networking is a widely used word in the generic business environment, it’s not new, but I think, it’s new when we are talking about “networking for research”, “networking for innovation”, or simply “networking for collaboration”. And overall, what does it mean that word and actions of “networking” in those “new” environments.

As we know, innovation is bringing value through creativity, and innovation is not something we can do alone, because the secret sauce behind “value” is that you change something, you impact something, you transform something, or someone is adopting that “creative idea”.  The other secret ingredient behind “value” is that is a part of co-creation, you cannot provide value as a one way direction, it’s a multi-directional action where different “actors” (to call them in a manner) add value together.

So, we are now thinking… mmmm… where is the networking part. Well, the networking part is because you have to find those “actors” to multi-directionally provide value, so to speak, to co-create this value, via a transformation, a change, impacting and adopting. And it’s not a cheat sheet, or something where you can call your family and friends. You need to make it right, and you need to make it professional.

As a super innovator and leader the skill of networking for innovation is becoming much more important than ever when we have an internet full of information and influencers. You have to make your own decisions on data (information available) and gut feelings. And now, it’s the big word: What about trust?

Well, this is for another chapter, but I can inform you that “trust” is not given at first sight, it’s built with time and by working together.

This month of September, we kick off with a 3-questions exercise for Networking for Innovation. As you might know, networking is the first step of the Collaboration Journey, and it’s a phase which scares the most of academics or other innovators. Because, it’s a way to go out of your comfort zone, and cold call, or cold message a potential collaborator to do something amazing… but it’s scary.

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