Herminia Ibarra is a professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD, and ranked as one of the most influential management thinkers, on one list as number 8.  http://thinkers50.com/t50-ranking/2015-2/

In the linked 15 minute video, she presents her thoughts on networking, why it is important and how to do it. Here are my notes from the film.

Networks allow you generate new ideas, get information, get support, offer more, have an impact.

Set of relationships to get things done, develop

How good is your network, what is the quality.

People say it takes time to build and maintain network, do not have time.

  • It is not a top priority; not an important part of everyday job.
  • Many do not know HOW to build
    • What will pay of
    • What will work out
    • What arenas to go for.

Think relations should form spontaneously, should click. Work at once.

Working at it, strategically, seems sleazy.


IF you do it that way, you will get a very homogenous network, with people like you.

Convenience networks. Avoid diversity in our network. Thus also have less to offer.


Think the tighter, the better. Yes, are important, but strength of weak ties. à get jobs.

  • Those close have the same information as us.


Three types of networks.

  • Operational networks. à colleagues and people at work, that gets things done.
  • Personal network: friends, previous colleges, people we like to hang out with. We choose them
  • Strategic network. Less aware of. Blend and external and internal relations, that make you understand your industry, not in your immediate group, and give access to ideas and
    • Broad: a great range, across departments, ages and companies.
    • Connective: whom you can reach out to you, and who you can help people connect with.
    • Dynamic: that you keep developing your network, new people, that match new situations.


Difficult to build a strategic network. Men in many industries, have some commonalities, like tennis, to connect on. Women do not have this, makes it more difficult. You need to start early, think long term, and work harder. Men tend to overlap more between social and professional than women.

Women have more distinct, women eg. Have friends that come with children. Have family networks. Schools. Etc. more separate. Combined with a time crunch. Choose between network event and dinner with family.

  • Choose the ones that are the more important. And do those well. Focus.
    • More time efficient. Can get gossip while exercising.
    • Trust more those we know better, will give them more opportunities. So those we train with, give them better opportunities.
  • May seem sleazy, but think how you can offer to the network. Less sleazy.


Strategies to expand your network.

  • One is what actives can you invest in.
    • What projects, task forces etc. to sign up for, for better exposer. Same for extra curricular actives. Professional conferences, seminars etc. many dread such events. Don’t know how to do it well. Suggestion: go in with curiosity, what can I learn! Makes it more fun. Think about how to be more active. Better to offer to organize a panel, interview a speaker, make a presentation. This make it easier for OTHER people to take contact with YOU!
  • Who do you know how can introduce you.
    • Ask others to introduce you. To do this, you need to step back, and ask: who do I need to get to know. From that, work out how to get to know them. Follow up!

One action: just get started. Think about that one person, association etc. and JUST DO IT!

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