Why Networked Growth Matters and Why It Matters Now

In times of uncertainty, taking a networked growth approach to managing your sustainability over time is critical.

We are entering an era where being able to digitally cultivate, build, and support a network of relationships over time is a future-ready professional skill everyone needs. As change and disruption become increasingly common, it will become increasingly critical to have networks of people to rely on. Previous generations of workers may have had a handful of disruptive events to manage in their career; today’s workers–and those of the future–are facing far more and far more frequent disruptions. 

The reality today is most of us have never learned how to manage a network of relationships intentionally in a digital format, even while they are part of our daily lives. Becoming a better network builder, and taking a networked growth approach in general, will require most of us to learn how to go beyond simply having digital connections and to create meaningful interactions where we add value to those we are networked with consistently over time. And the benefits are not simply being a better person, member of your community, or citizen of the world. Being able to upskill in this way will result in greater job security and sustainability during periods of future disruption and change. 

So why is being a digital network builder such a critical upskilling need now? 

As technology continues to advance us towards an even more connected digital world, there is less time and attention for building community and connections in our physical worlds. This tradeoff isn’t balanced. Historically, communities offered an informal safety net to its members, providing support during times of change. Today, in a time where we are more connected than ever, fewer of us are intentionally spending time building these crucial community connections. In the area where you live, how many people do you know by name? How many of them have you helped out in some way? How many would you feel comfortable asking for help, even with something small?

On top of this shift in communities, economic mobility and long-term financial sustainability are harder to achieve because of more frequent disruptors and resulting system failures. Changes in climate and weather patterns are creating more costly billion-dollar weather events each year. Job security from a trusted long-time employer is no longer a guarantee as technology advances and innovations like ChatGPT are introduced to evolve work once completed by humans. We are seeing sporadic and calculated mass layoffs across industries as we enter a potential recession in 2023. The global COVID-19 pandemic exposed so many social systems we rely on for mobility like childcare, education, healthcare are actually broken and failing. 

It’s not all doom and gloom; there are steps you can take

All of this is not meant to invoke fear, but rather to encourage individuals and leaders to anticipate continued disruptions occurring more rapidly and simultaneously in the future. One way to do that is to have strong social networks to assist us in navigating future disruptions. 

Grow Together’s training (Network Builders) and ongoing global community (Network Builders Community of Practice) help whole teams and individuals integrate a networked growth approach. Learn more about what we do and how we help organizations and individuals.

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