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The Joy of Doughnuts

Written by: Bill Sherman on Thursday, 13 March 2008, 1:46 AM

Yesterday, I discussed how people who work in virtual environments may develop social network “doughnuts.” They have more contacts outside of their home city than within it.

Today, I hosted a professional roundtable event for twelve people from six global companies. The participants live across the United States. They’d never met each other before, and they weren’t part of mutual network. We had an amazing first session that left the participants hungry for more meetings.

These connections occurred because my network isn’t just a local network. I’ve invested time building these relationships and have worked alongside many of them for years. When I invited them to the roundtable, they accepted the invitation based on their trust in me. I was able to make valuable connections across companies without leaving my home.

Too often, most people rely on their most proximate geographic connections–workplace colleagues, family members, neighbors, fellow churchgoers, etc.

When you work in a virtual workplace doesn’t have that luxury.? Your network’s strength isn’t the people immediately around you, it’s the people around the world. If your relationship map is a doughnut, then leverage those strengths to reach out even further.

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