Networking Within Your Company

Building a network within your company is just as important as investing in relationships with others in the industry or community.  Couple of key thoughts for you: Break Down the Silos.  One thing that I do for my team on a regular basis is invite leaders from other teams across the Coca-Cola organization to come and spend time with my team at regular team meetings.  This provides an opportunity for the other team to get to know our group, our people, what we do, what we have delivered and plan to deliver, and at the same time, allows our team to develop relationships that would not otherwise have formed in day-to-day work activities.  I typically ask the visiting leader to share an overview of their organization, typical skill sets of staff and day-in-the-life activities.  This provides our team an opportunity to think about these roles when considering future career steps.

Identify Initiatives that Engage Disparate Organizational Teams.  One other concept that I have found useful as a people leader is to identify internal projects that can engage and involve representatives from different business and technology teams in solving a shared objective.  Examples would be culture-building initiatives, diversity initiatives, six sigma projects, etc.  This provides an opportunity for individuals to work with staff from other teams, get to know their work styles, see differences in operational behavior, and develop relationships that extend to other parts of the organization.

Give Back...Together.  One final idea is to jointly participate in community and philanthropic activities together as an organization vs. solely an individual team.  Working together to "give back" is both personally rewarding and powerful for the brand of the company.  Bringing together disparate teams to work together on a volunteer project is typically a lot of fun...and not your standard work activity.  I have observed new personal and professional relationships develop from these activities.