Sunday, November 2, 2014

Networking - An important benefit of professional membership

Networking is an important buzzword of modern day.  It has become much more popular due to the advent of social media.   Today, network connections, be it long-term or short-term, can be built with greater speeds.  One need not know somebody personally to get connected.  Connections happen at multiple levels (direct and indirect) and through different channels.

Professional organizations like ASQ have played a key role to connect quality professionals, around the world, and other stakeholders together to network at individual and group levels.   I always believed that networking is one of the most important benefits of membership with professional organizations.  Bill, through A View from the Q, has asked an important question - how do you encourage people to join a professional organization?  My immediate response is Networking.

I have personally experienced the following benefits, due to networking, through my continued association with ASQ (India and US) for the last 12 years or so:

  • Get to know others (quality professionals) - Get introduced and build good professional relationships
  • Learn  - Get to know newer things, ideas and identify areas of improvement. Prepare and clear Certifications 
  • Share knowledge with others - Forums to discuss, debate and teach 
  • Improve communication skills - Both oral and written skills
  • Gather thoughts, new ideas and alternate view points - Bring in newer perspectives to quality related discussion items, issues. Opportunities to innovate 
  • Do tasks together, bring-in synergy - Work in pairs/groups, resolve larger/complex issues
  • Work together for a social cause - Support the society and be socially responsible
  • Continuous Self-improvement - Learn and improve every day.

You might have observed, and sometimes experienced, that the face of networking is changing. I believe that it will dramatically change further, during the forthcoming days, and professional organizations have to be prepared for that.

Traditional networking was only through face-to-face meetings, emails and phone calls. Current day networking, especially for Gen Y,  is predominantly through social media - Google Hangout+, FaceBook, Twitter, Whatsapp, video channels like YouTube and Blogs.   In future, more real-time collaboration will be demanded for effective networking. Along with social media, high quality video and audio based newer services will play a significant role in enabling  networking with virtual connections happening through wearables and other mobile devices.

So, professional organizations need to be prepared to attract newer members while retaining existing ones.  They have to continuously evolve and improve.

Please note that ASQ is already way ahead on these aspects - Check these out:


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