Often networking meetings follow a strict format of allowing for a few minutes for interaction, smash in a business pitch for the sponsors, hit everyone with a lengthy lecture style presentation, perhaps squeeze in one more pitch and then disperse. Business networking in this sense is very similar to church, get in and get out while speaking to as few people as possible, meanwhile the power of connection and collaboration is never harvested from the gathering. Lectures from professionals can provide a level of exposure to information that attendees might otherwise have had access to, which is a positive addition, but with so little time created for interaction to build trust, relationships or engagement the potential often flat lines. Our communities, personal and professional, are rich with individuals who have years of experience that compliment our areas of inexperience if only we would take the time to connect. Networking meetings are a medium where attendees have set aside time from their busy schedules to participate and it would be a great benefit to all parties if more of an emphasis was placed on connection and collaboration at the community level.
We have been working to build a peer to peer network for local facilities, maintenance and risk professionals which we call Local Facilities Manager's Connection (LFMC). In many ways we are breaking all the trends as we do not charge members to participate, members host at their locations to minimize costs and our primary focus is centered around discussion of a relevant topic to connect our industry peers and enable collaboration of ideas as well as resources in our community. You can read more about the LFMC network in our article featured in Facility Executive HERE and check the group out through their website - localfacilities.com.
How have you been working to create connection and collaboration in your community?
Jon Isaacson. Green belt in the puzzle art of business. Helping people clarify their vision, optimize productivity & follow through w/ creative solutions #MTWSL
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