Where to Find Friends in a Recession

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In times like these we need to rely on help from friends and family. In the business world that means from partners and from colleagues. By working collaboratively, businesses can harness the best resources they have available to focus on delivering more value to key customers at lower costs.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? But who exactly are the best people? And where do you find them?

If IBM’s 2008 Global Human Capital Study is correct, we don’t really know the answer to either question. The study, which is a mine of useful information about the adaptable workforce, found that only 13% of the 400 HR Managers they asked were ‘very capable’ of finding people with particular knowledge, skills or experience in their company. Only 13%! It makes you wonder how the rest manage. Not knowing who knows what is an obstacle to doing business at the best of times, but it is a serious problem when survival may depend upon having the best people available to sense and respond to rapidly changing markets.

Perhaps the solution lies in applying social network analysis within the business and between partner businesses. Rob Cross, in an article on Managing Collaboration: Improving Team Effectiveness through a Network Perspective in the current California Management Review shows how SNA can be used to identify how businesses collaborate internally and between each other, and how to purposefully improve networking so that more effective collaboration is enabled. If business survival depends upon bringing together the best people available to drive increased value delivery and rediuced costs, then SNA may be the best way to identify exactly who those people are and to support their collaborative activities.

What do you think? Can you respond to the recession with the same old team building approach? Or do you really need to bring in the best people available to you to survive?

Post a comment or email me at graham(dot)hill(at)web(dot)de to get the conversation going.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager

Further Reading:

IBM, 2008 Global Human Capital Study

Rob Cross, Managing Collaboration: Improving Team Effectiveness through a Network Perspective

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