In his bestselling book Give and Take, Adam Grant argues that there are distinct disadvantages to reaching out only to people we already know for advice or assistance:
- We’re missing out of a rich diversity of opinion, experience, and perspective.
- We’re unnecessarily limiting ourselves.
- You never know who will be able to help you.
- Research shows that sometimes weaker ties tend to provide the most valuable information and perspective, simply because its fresher and newer to you.
Most of us in leadership have a pretty extensive professional network of current and former colleagues, mentors, employees, clients, vendors, partners, and other contacts we’ve met along the way.
But we can’t always identify the holes because we don’t even know what’s missing.
Moreover, sometimes I waste time trying to find the “expert,” missing out on fresh and innovative ideas that I might discover elsewhere.
I know that every time I reach beyond my network for advice or an introduction, I get an unexpected gem of assistance. You never know what people know or who they know until you ask.
Adam Grant recently joined forces with Wayne Baker and Cheryl Baker to create Givitas, a technology platform that helps enterprises implement the principles from Grant and Baker’s research using a scalable, measurable, manageable technology.
Givitas helps employees go beyond self-selected networks by expanding the ring of people available for help, advice, ideas, or an introduction. Rings can be formed across silos, divisions, offices, and regions. Employees who may not otherwise interact are given a chance to do so, building new connections in the process. Employees expand their sphere of influence and support with Givitas. We often get asked: “Can I build a ring with the 10 people I already rely on all the time?” Sure, you can, and Givitas will help you communicate and collaborate more efficiently with those 10 existing contacts, but we recommend you build a wider circle. You never know who can help you until you ask.
Download our free ebook to review seven key lessons from Adam’s book (including this one!) and how the Givitas platform helps enterprises put them into action.Download the Ebook