As a CEO, there’s no doubt that you’re skilled at networking. But is your network conducive to innovation and building your company? Though it is helpful to be acquainted with a healthy network of executives in your field, is more beneficial to you to reach out to business leaders in other industries. Executives in the same industry deal with the same issues as you do, but if you really want to make the most of your market position, you should align yourself with other leaders.
The Harvard Business Review’s “Ten Ways to Diversify an Inbred Network,” gives a great list of ways for CEOs to step out of their comfort zones to become more collaborative executives. Being collaborative has benefits such as attracting talent, understanding macro trends, and you might even find some great companies to partner with in the future.
Here are some of the ways that HBR suggests you expand your corporate circle:
- Getting to know a venture capitalist could help with leadership skills and innovation
- Spending time at a start-up can help you to understand where the market is going and how
- Lunch with a peer at a competing company and you’ll see how others perceive your brand
- Spend a day with a “millennial” (Generation Y) employee and see how they use new technologies
- Teach a college or university course
- Speak at national events
Each strategy can help you to broaden your business network and find opportunities that you might not otherwise discover.