Tara Hunt linked to a great article that I skimmed through a few seconds ago, where professor William Baker and columnist Karen E. Klein discusses networking. The question was mainly how much time we should spend doing it, and if it is likely to yield results.
There was a few words in particular that stood out for me:
"...if you pick up on the good things all sorts of companies are doing, and bring them over into your company, there's the breeding ground for competitive advantage."
Now that's a good reason to start networking, and that's what I'm going to do. No matter the industry or business - listening to opinions, gathering ideas - it all produces, or rather breeds, innovation. And I guess not only to ourselves but also to the people around us.
I don't want to say that I need other people to be innovative and produce great stuff. What this article suggests is that it may become easier, or at least more enjoyable, if we communicate and feed our minds with some crazy thinking. Be ourselves - together. Making sense?
And I guess... it also gives us perspective. Always a good thing. I'm a fond believer that you shouldn't listen much to other people. But as boring as it may be to actually listen to opinions, sometimes it may be a good thing. Big-ass emphasis on sometimes though. (And dude, you can learn something without actually agreeing too.)
"Breeding ground for competitive advantage." Spot on.
Read the article at BusinessWeek.