Waiting to speak to a group of internal IT experts in a global banking business last week. Listening to their boss talk to them about why networking was so important to them, however difficult they may find it. He said a really interesting thing-
”…Our business is outsourced in most of our competitor banks throughout the world. It looks like a dirty mark on our P&L account. £20 million of fixed cost that could be swept away with one stroke of a CFO’s pen. But they keep us here for 2 reasons. One we do a great job. 2 we’re brilliant at making relationships at every level of the business, so our clients, our colleagues, end users know how much we add to the business…”
And for those of us that question the value of internal networking, isn’t that your answer? Do a great job first; but make sure that people know it too. And the first part of that second point? Make sure they know you exist.
So. When you see someone in your building that you don’t know, in the lift, in meetings, in the corridor, in fact anywhere; introduce yourself as the minimum, start a conversation as the median, invite them for a chat as the maximum. Just don’t walk on by.
That simple act of courtesy may one day save your life, or your job.