May 7

The Immersion Technique


On Tuesday I was given a gift, although it took quite a bit of effort to open it, thanks to the weather in Sydney and Melbourne and the associated obstacles that came with this.

I was holding the second of the Business Immersion Days that are a vital part of LBDGroup’s member offering, and as the day progressed, I realised just what the word ‘immersion’ meant when it comes to understanding what an effective business network is really all about.

Every single person who was at this event was not only there to learn and grow their own enterprise or business stream, but also to immerse themselves in the wisdom, commercial experience and innovative thinking of their fellow members, as well as that of the brilliant guest that we were fortunate enough to have with us for our lunchtime session.

immersion-therapy-memeThey were there to take in the advice and practical knowledge that comes from different industries, sectors, skill sets and interests. Most of all, they were there to immerse themselves in the successes that every other person in the room had been enjoying.

Those successes were due in part to the networks formed by these women prior to this day, and because of their understanding of what makes a really good network – well, work.

The critical element of a powerful network that can become your lifeline, and is an absolute must-have for successful collaboration, is diversity.

Building an effective and powerful network is so much more than finding your ‘tribe’. It requires diversity, and a width and breadth of contacts – because within that diversity comes the chance to embrace opportunities you will never find in a homogeneous group. You may not always agree, but that also leads to further awareness and knowledge.

An effective network means differing levels of expertise, age and experience. It is about immersing yourself in a conversation that spans industries and functions – so there are no limits on the breadth and depth of what is discussed. You can just imagine the colour of the conversation if instead of like with like, you had corporate leaders, creatives, coaches, entrepreneurs, and lawyers discussing the various solutions to a problem – as we had on Tuesday. Imagine the different perspectives shared, the varying insights, the depth of conversation that would stretch thinking and push perspective wider.

We need to challenge our thinking and push our boundaries when it comes to those we associate with – and that applies equally to our personal and private networks. How do we open our eyes to new opportunities and solutions otherwise?

We can all feel that ‘drowning, not waving’, sensation at times. Business now, and in the future, is tough, and it is only going to get tougher. It is literally an ocean of uncertainty.

But if you are able to immerse yourself in a sea of thought leaders and like-minded individuals who nonetheless have different and innovative viewpoints?

You will swim, not sink.

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Collaborative Thinking, Effective Networks, Janine Garner, LBDGroup, networking, women in business

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