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Networking 101 – Be Inclusive & Collaborative

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Dr. Renate Volpe, in her nugget cards entitled “Networking Tips” says:

“Be inclusive and collaborative”.

Over the holiday period, I did not travel anywhere, or take a significant break. That said, I spent my time – quietly at home, examining what I had done in 2008 and what needed to be done in 2009. With the economy (supposedly) in a mess and the credit crunch (supposedly) really hurting everyone concerned (as you can see I didn’t really buy into either – but the rest of the world did, so I had to adjust the way I responded to them accordingly), I realized that I had to do things completely differently for 2009.

At the recent launch of the Soweto 5 year project that I attended at the Ubuntu Kraal in Soweto, the speaker Parks Tau, who is the Financial Director of the Economic Development of the City of Johannesburg, kept referring to the fact that there has to be a collaboration between Government, the Private Sector and the people of Soweto, in order for the roll out of this initiative to actually work. As I listened to him speak, several of the people there kept saying “We are tired of the talk shows, now we want things to happen.” Parks kept on patiently explaining that that is one of the reasons that there had to be the collaboration.

Several times since then, I have been in a networking environment, where the people have used words like ‘Joint Venture’ and ‘Strategic Alliance’ and even ‘Partnerships’ and my brain just kept going back to the word “Collaboration”.

My 2009 had really started with a bang! Work is pouring in from all kinds of different avenues, clients that were dormant, new clients, referrals and the like from friends and colleagues from all over the country. Here’s the thing though – the majority of opportunities that are coming my way are of a collaborative nature! Particularly for my Workshop “A Basic Practical Guide to Starting a Business.” You see many of the Skills Development companies and NGO’s such as Business Engage, British Chamber of Business and so on were needing to train everyday people who wanted to start their own businesses in the basic aspects of running a sustainable business. They not only needed me to facilitate the training of my workshop, but they also needed access to my extensive data base that is packed full of people – not only people who can facilitate training of a whole plethora of different Skills Development topics but also people who may also need to be trained on those particular skills.

So guess who was getting the old Memorandum of Understanding out, dusting it off and Collaborating like there is no tomorrow?

Me of course! Guess what? So can you – Collaborate with me, or with others – just get out there and do it now!

For more information on Renate, please visit her website at www.drrenatevolpe.co.za

 

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