Why Do I Network? Motivations and Goals
Why do we form networks? Do individuals in your organization have different motivations for collaborating? Are they trying to achieve different goals? Understanding individual perspectives can provide powerful leverage in forming more effective and productive networks for your business.
For example, our early research has revealed that motivations and goals appear to differ by generation:
- Traditionalists often find pleasurable companionship through their networks, which are typically centered on specific groups or organizations.
- For Boomers, networks provide prestige, one sign of where they stand in the competitive game. Being part of the “right” networks is a source of competitive advantage.
- For Generation X, networks are a primary source of security. They offer options and support during the “what if’s” in life.
- Millennials or Gen Y’s are eager to make the most of every day – to live life to the fullest. Networks enable them to gauge the fullness of their lives, relative to their friends’, on a minute-to-minute basis.
- To the Re-Generation, owning physical objects isn’t necessary or necessarily smart; they use networks to rent, borrow, barter, or trade wherever possible.
In this first-of-its-kind research, we will survey diverse populations to explore the role of networks and how it affects individual an organizational performance. We will be looking for meaningful segmentations that will give you an advantage in creating effective, powerful networks within your organization:
- What role or purpose do networks play at work?
- What motivates people to join a network or invest time in collaborative relationships?
- What types of people are likely to be included in networks aimed at various goals?
- How does networking actually occur?
- How do individuals use their informal networks at work? How is it different from the way they use the formal networks at work?
- How do individuals sustain their networks as their careers evolve?
- What types of outcomes are people able to achieve by leveraging their networks in different ways?
- Which segmentations are most meaningful? Are the most important differences in the responses to the above by generation or by other characteristics?
The research will be directed by Tammy Erickson, a McKinsey Award-winning author and a widely-respected authority on the generations. She is the founder and CEO of Tammy Erickson Associates. Tammy has three- times been named one of the 50 most influential living management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50, the respected ranking of global business thinkers and is an Adjunct Professor, Organisational Behaviour, at London Business School.