This module focuses on networking in a strategic sense; that is, how to form and utilize connections with people for successful entry and growth. As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. When it comes to networks, it’s sometimes how you know them as well. In the vast market of the U.S., learning the strategic aspects of forming the right kinds of relationships is important to success of Israeli ventures in America. Through case studies, simulations, and other examples, we review and explore the frameworks that govern how action-oriented networks are formed and maintained. Participants will analyze various types of networks and their relevance to Israelis (e.g., product- or service-oriented, community, Jewish leaders, professional, etc.). You will also identify and discuss strategies relevant to Israeli business operating in U.S. regarding creating and sustaining networks. Learning how networks operate demonstrates that, as in many areas of business, advantage may not go to the one with the most resources, but rather to the one who knows what’s going on.
8:00-12:00 The Nature of Networking Concepts
- The “small world” phenomenon
- Networking vocabulary
- Strong vs. weak ties
- The power of “structural holes
- Types of networks
- Building and managing your network
- Currencies of network exchange (the right kind of reciprocity)
- Avoiding the “top dog” syndrome
- Wider-scope networks (community, government, etc.)
- Cross-cultural networking considerations
- Specific networking help for Israeli companies in the U.S.
- Strategic blogging
1:00-5:00 Putting Networks to Work for Your Business
- Industry examples of how networks have assisted businesses in U.S.
- Harvard and other case study examples from Israel companies
- Hypothetical mini-cases for networking strategies in various business stages of start-up, growth, etc.
Presenting Your Own Strategic Networking Plan
Based on course learning tools, participants will formulate and present briefly (seven minutes or so) a strategic networking plan for preferably an actual business for a specific business need or situation (marketing, capital, etc.). Questions to be considered include:
- Who are the types of people you eventually need to contact?
- Through what strategic network will you contact them?
- What will you specifically do to make contact and follow up?
As a class we will listen to the plans, provide feedback, etc.
Pre-Readings (Please read before the module begins.)
“How Leaders Create and Use Networks,” by H. Ibarra and M. Hunter, Harvard Business Review, January 2007.
“A Blueprint for Constructing a Personal and Professional Network,” by T. Krattenmaker, Harvard Management Communication Newsletter, April 2002, Harvard Business School Publishing.
“Heidi Roizen,” Harvard Business School Case 9-800-228, by Nicole Tempest, 2000, Harvard Business School Publishing. This is a case study about a successful venture capitalist in Silicon Valley who is a very active networker
Please read through the case and prepare to discuss the following questions:
- What are the strengths of Roizen’s network as we see it at the end of the case? The weaknesses?
- What specific steps did Roizen take to develop her network? To maintain it?
- What strategic lessons can you apply from Roizen’s experience to your own networking efforts for marketing, financing and other help?
Business Press/Newspaper Articles (to be distributed in class, with others)
“The Network Effect,” The Economist, January 17, 2015
“The Dunbar Number, Fortune, February 6, 2013
“LinkedIn: How it’s Changing Business,” July 1, 2013
“The Power of Networks,” special issue of Forbes, May 7, 2007 (selected articles)
“How to Network—And Enjoy It,” Fortune, April 4, 2005
“Passengers Are Cleared to Network about the Cabin,” New York Times, September 14, 2004.
“The Fine Art of Following Up,” Business Week, October 21, 2002.
“Bridging the Gap,” Entrepreneur, November, 2004.
Other Harvard/Stanford Readings (Recommended for further reading—can be ordered online from HBS Publishing website, www.hbsp.com[hbsp.com]
“Discovery Skill #4: Networking-How Interacting with People Outside Your Social and Professional Spheres Can Jump-Start Innovation[cb.hbsp.harvard.edu]” by Jeffrey H. Dyer[cb.hbsp.harvard.edu], Hal B. Gregersen[cb.hbsp.harvard.edu], Clayton M. Christensen[cb.hbsp.harvard.edu], 2011, in The Innovator’s DNA, Harvard Business School Publishing.
“A Note on Social Networks and Network Structure” by Jeffrey Pfeffer, 2008, Stanford Business School, available from Harvard Business School Publishing.
“How to Build Your Network” by Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap, Harvard Business Review, December 2005, Harvard Business School Publishing.
“Are You Ready to Get Serious About Networking?” by S. Parker, Harvard Management Communication Newsletter, February 2003, Harvard Business School Publishing.
“The Science of Networking,” by L. Gary, Harvard Management Update, January 2004, Harvard Business School Publishing.
“Note on Industry Peer Networks,” by S. Sgourev, 2002, Stanford Business School, available from Harvard Business School Publishing.
“Can a Shy Person Learn to Network?” by H. Ibarra, Harvard Management Update, September 1996, Harvard Business School Publishing.
Books on Networking (Recommended for further reading—can be ordered online at www.amazon.com[amazon.com] or from other booksellers)
The Hidden Power of Social Networks, by R. Cross and A. Parker, 2004, Harvard Business School Press, ISBN: 159139270.
Hidden Assets: Harnessing the Power of Informal Networks, by C. Ehin[amazon.com], 2004, Springer-Verlag Telos, ISBN: 1402080816.