Networking (Part IV)

Yunika in New York

Networking is a Man’s Game (Part IV of IV):

The Theory of Disruptive Innovation

The Theory of Disruptive Innovation speaks to completely uprooting and changing the way that something has been done. Innovation is important to keep organizations and businesses current with the ever-changing times. Not only is innovation important to increase revenue and sustain business growth, but innovation also inspires creativity and brings new products to consumers. David Ahlstrom says, “Effective disruptive innovation produces growth while providing innovative new products to the marketplace”.

Ahlstrom also discusses how a company’s ability to grow and remain successful is rooted in a good team. He describes how when growth slows and employees see that there is time that must elapse before their senior managers retire and they themselves are promoted, employees will leave the company and growth is diminished. Teams play a large part in the ability for a company to remain innovative and sustainable. Sustainability and disruptive innovation also allow for the company to experience economic growth, benefiting the business and (in a larger scale) society as a whole.

Speaking in terms of overall societal well-being, disruptive innovation is a key component to the business model. Old and non-innovative businesses and business models are no longer perceived to have much benefit to society, so in order to experience growth and increase productivity, innovation needs to be part of a business.

In a similar way, women need to disrupt the networking space to create a new paradigm that will work in their favor. Drawing from the Theory of Weak Ties and the Theory of Prior Knowledge, networking should ideally be built around creating new connections (from a pool of a large network), while inspiring growth and new knowledge in smaller groups, where relationships can be better facilitated.

Using the extended network community to pull small groups from, you open your network immensely. By meeting with a curated new group every time, your network of weak ties is expanded by each event you attend, yet the intimate gatherings accommodate for the fact that many women get more out of connecting in smaller group settings. Attending an inspiring event or workshop where you take an active part in the learning and the exchanging of perspectives, you create very different kinds of relationships than those from traditional networking groups or friends and family.

It is time we stop accommodating and start innovating.

Lauren Pike