The article “How to Build Your Network” (Harvard Business Review) describes the shared activities principle.
I will discuss the shared activities principle part in this post.
A very good way to develop trust between two individuals is with recurrent activities that are of interest to both of them. “Potent networks are not forged through casual interactions but through relatively high-stakes activities that connect you with diverse others.” During shared activities you freely interact with others. Unscripted behaviours, as opposed to prescribed business roles, allow the interaction to be more genuine. Thus, you have the proper ground for trust creation and growth.
Shared activities come in many shapes and forms, such as sports teams, community service ventures, interdepartmental initiatives, voluntary associations and cross-functional teams.
However, not all shared activities are equally potent regarding the creation of strong networks. The best activities are those that:
- Evoke passion,
- Need interdependence,
- Have something at stake.
My take: raise your hand at the next opportunity for a shared activity with these three characteristics!
The full article has five parts:
- The power of networks.
- The importance of diversity within your network.
- The map of your network.
- The shared activities principle.
- The need for ties with brokers.
- “How to Build Your Network”, B. Uzzi & S. Dunlap (2005), Harvard Business Review, December 2005, 83(12): pp53-60. www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/uzzi/ftp/uzzi%27s_research_papers/uzzi_dunlap%20hbr.pdf