Tipsheet: Social (Support) Networks

Social (Support) Networks

What happens when you are stumped? In the "olden days"
of just 3-4 years ago, you would apply time to the problem, researching
different alternatives until you had a viable solution. If you were more clever,
you’d reach out to your network – working the phone and email until you found
someone who could help.

We use these same techniques today: research and network, but
sometimes not in the most efficient way.

Research: At one point research meant a trip
to the library, quietly pouring over reference books, old trade magazines, and
other material. Today, research means a visit to "Dr. Google", with
a potential detour to visit Wikipedia. Then a whole bunch of scanning,
clicking, copying, and pasting.

Network: In the past, engaging your support
network meant going for coffee, a meal, or perhaps a phone call. Today, your
support network is embedded within Facebook, LinkedIn, and industry discussion
forums – and includes people you have a relationship with – and those that you

For those of us who are wired into Social Networks, we too often
forget about the benefits of direct human contact, for both research and
networking. For those who aren’t "Socialy" wired, consider the vast
pool of expertise online, and that some people might actually prefer to interact
this way.Social Networks aren’t just for socializing or networking – they’re
also there for support.

This week’s action item: When you’re next
stumped – or just looking for support – try operating in both modes – not just
the one you’re most comfortable. This might mean "putting a question out
there" for the very first time, or just picking up the phone.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to
to register.

Randall Craig

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Randall Craig has founded several successful start-ups, held a long-time position at a “big-four” consulting firm, and was an executive at an American public company. He currently serves as the 108 ideaspace CEO and chief strategist. Randall has been advising on digital strategy since 1994: he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail’s GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations.

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