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Books: Networking Today

By Geoff Schoeneck
September 1, 2016
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Composition with hardcover books in the library

Have you ever led or been a part of a project that either failed or experienced difficulties because the wrong people were involved? If your answer is “yes,” then you understand the impact that networking can have on you, your projects, and your organization. In today’s business world, you can’t have a nine-to-five job in which you just show up and get your work done. Today, you not only have to excel at your job, but you also have the added responsibility of networking, both inside and outside your organization.

 

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Strategic Connections: The New Face of Networking in a Collaborative World by Anne Baber, Lynne Waymon, Andre Alphonso, and Jim Wylde describes working in a “network-oriented workplace.” Accountants tend to be misrepresented as the introverted numbers people who don’t necessarily make the effort to network. This mind-set harms accountants’ reputation in many ways. Strategic Connections helps change this perception and provides numerous examples of how to build relationships and organize networks to get the maximum return for you, your employer, and those in your network.

 

The book suggests that everyone has four distinct networks. For example, a new financial data warehouse that’s in the process of being implemented at your organization would have connections from your professional network (consultants), your job network (accountants in your department), your organization network (in-house IT), and maybe even your life network (a neighbor who researches Big Data). These networks help us better understand the organization we work for and to contribute to its success.

 

Each person you know fits into at least one of the categories referenced above. Organizing your networks with this in mind can help you overhaul that project that’s experiencing difficulties. This is one approach the book suggests for building relationships. Strategic Connections will aid strong networkers in becoming more efficient as well as help those people who find networking difficult in the first place. I highly recommend it to all those who aspire to achieve their professional goals and who want to support the mission of their organizations.

 

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Geoff Schoeneck is now a staff accountant at Ernst & Young and is a member of the Chicago Chapter of IMA. You can reach him at gschoene@butler.edu.
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