Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who you know may be more important than what you can do

I read something today that was so counterintuitive it just might be true. Patti Anklam, the author of "Net Work, A Practical Guide To Creating And Sustaining Networks At Work And In The World," quotes in her blog fellow knowledge management expert Stowe Boyd on the value of personal networks:

It will happen, he said (or I am paraphrasing; I did not take notes), that having a larger number of connections is more important at work than simply doing a job well, or in his words, on a great slide show from his site titled Flow): "Productivity is second to Connectivity: network productivity trumps personal productivity." That is, the more connections you have the more resources you have to bring to a task: all work can be co-work.

I read this on a day when I talked to people in Chicago, the UK, suburban Washington and Seattle. And when I emailed a former colleague in Texas to locate someone's phone number to get to the Washington contact. And... you get the picture.

I had always looked to my intelligence as the supreme asset I brought to the workplace. It's taken me nearly forty-five years to learn that my (virtual) Rolodex is far smarter than I am.

And it works harder too.

(Photo by Frances Twitty via