Monday, 11 June 2007
The June Newsletter
It is not all about parties ... Did you miss the Value of Collecting your own People Power Data where I re-learnt the lessons that nothing beats going back to the original sources? Learning sparked by a comment from a reader. Were you saddened to see our announcement RIP Public & Patient Involvement Resources Page was no longer being updated? Please be not too downhearted - we remain very committed as a business and as individuals to the principles of user involvement and will continue to publish regularly on the topic on publicinvolvement.org.uk
Now more from Moore...
As I cleared up the glasses after the M-A-C early summer reception on May 24, it occurred to me that I have probably entertained about 600 people in my house in the last 12 months. This includes family, friends, neighbours, fellow dog walkers, colleagues and clients. As well as MAC receptions and working lunches, significant occasions include birthday celebrations, Christmas drinks, the neighbours' Front Garden Party, a Witches Coven for Halloween, a Dog Walkers' Supper Quiz and numerous non specific lunches, suppers and dinners inside and alfresco. In fact, I am always looking for an excuse to invite a few (hundred) people in.
The thing all these events have in common is the amazing buzz from people being together in a relaxed social setting and sharing news from the past and ideas for the future.
My partners say I am a party junkie who is never content to sit watching the TV and eating take away pizza with Dusty and Iggy (the dogs). But hey - I really enjoy entertaining - even the getting ready and the clearing up - and the reason is the wonderful dynamic buzz from putting together interesting and different people in a relaxed environment. Someone said, in a different context, that the value of the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts and this is certainly true of networking. People renew friendships and revive past business contacts as well as establishing links with a whole new bunch of people. And of course there are those amazing coincidences when you discover that a current business contact was at school with your best friend. Or that the person you have been trying to get hold of for weeks, is standing next to you with a drink in their hand and time to talk.
We should not underestimate the value of professional and business networking in a social setting or through websites, blogs or one to one direct contact. I believe it is the best and perhaps the only way for individual consultants or small partnerships like M-A-C to spread the word about their skills and expertise and give potential business colleagues interest and confidence to hear more. I also think that even large organisations need to develop their networking activity to ensure they are in touch with the right people who can help further the aims of their organisation.
I am convinced that networking pushes open doors that would other wise remain firmly closed. Networking gives us all a chance to establish or renew relationships in a non threatening setting and, if we wish, to take those relationships a step further for mutual benefit. I do not think this is nepotism or unethical dealing or underhand behaviour with hidden agendas. This is not about stealing a march on the competition or clinching deals with a dodgy handshake. This is about meeting and mixing people to see where the synergy is and what mutual benefits can be explored.
The public sector in all forms is facing challenging changes and is increasingly relying on consultants to support and advise on new and changing systems and structures. The bigger and more high profile the public body, the more they seem to rely on the services of large established consultancy firms even where those consultancies have little direct experience of the changes in hand. It is a brave CEO who brings in small new consultancies even when they have direct first hand experience of the issues being faced by the organisation. Networking gives opportunities to demonstrate skills and expertise and to show credibility and reliability through a different kind of reference and hopefully to reassure those placing consultancy contracts.
Over the past year and my 600 or so individual networked moments, I believe I have both gained benefits and made a contribution to my personal and social life, my neighbourhood community, my career, the success of the M-A-C partnership and the business interests of many colleagues and a good few clients.
So my advice is, never underestimate the potential of networking and balance the cost in terms of energy, time and money against the range of contacts made, the stimulating buzz created and, most important, the enjoyment.
A few candid photos from the M-A-C Early Summer Reception are here just to show that the networking going on was stimulating and enjoyable. No one fell in the pond. If you are feeling left out and want to be on the list for next year - get in touch.
The Moore Adamson Craig Partnership
The Moore Adamson Craig Partnership is committed to creating productive environments for the exchange of views and best practice. Speak to Val if you want us to set up learning and networking events with staff or users. We can create the atmosphere that facilitates confidence and openness.