Building a Quality High Performance Professional Network in the “Knowledge” Economy

In the knowledge-rich society and professional world we live in, building a quality high performing professional network should be a focus for every professional knowledge worker. More than ever, we need to be connected and integrated in communities that provide mutual value. It is no longer enough to have a network consisting of all the people you meet at conferences, through work or at other events.

We need to pro-actively develop and manage our professional network as an integral part of our career management in the knowledge economy. This is far more than just having the inter-personal skills to talk to people and make meaningful contact that can grow into lasting professional links. Having these skills is great, and we need them. But managing our professional network needs to go beyond that.

  1. We need to be able to ascertain the quality and performance of our professional network.
  2. We need to know what the strengths and weaknesses are of our current network.
  3. We need to know how to pro-actively manage our network to ensure we prepare for the next step in our career.

In order to do all of this we need to understand how knowledge is generated and shared in societies. We also need to understand how different kinds of people fulfill different requirements for knowledge. And, importantly, we need to know what our strengths are in professional networking.

When we look at our current professional network, we need to be able to identify strengths and weaknesses, and have a road map of how to improve and refine our professional network to serve us best, and also optimize value for all other members of our network.

Just like we suffer from an information overload in the current online and knowledge-rich world, we can end up having a large number of people that we know, but we do not derive the value that we could from the network because it is not suitable for our career, or is so overloaded that we are not able to have focused contact. We can end up wasting time by increasing the size of our network without really improving its quality and performance in our career or for anybody else in the network. If we allow that to happen, we also do not do others a service, because we all become numbers in one another’s professional networks rather than a well-functioning community that add value for one another.

There are more and more online tools and facilities that enable us to build global professional links and networks. The aim is not to participate in as many of them, or even to have as many contacts as possible. Rather, we need to utilize these wisely in order to build meaningful and useful professional networks that will become an integral part of the success of our careers.

Most courses (and online courses), as well as other information about professional networks focus on the inter-relational and social skills we need to build good links with others. These are important, but do not necessarily mean we’ll end up with a good professional network. Information on how to ensure quality and optimize value from the network for all participants is not readily available.

However, a quality, well-designed and high performance professional network is imperative in the knowledge economy.

Popular Affiliate Networks – Information That Newbies Need to Know About Affiliate Networks

Whether you’re a businessman or a business woman, the most convenient way to add customers and to raise your profit is by using an affiliate network. Some of the popular networks are the following:

Click2Sell is a free online affiliate network that provides the companies the opportunity to earn big. The marketers can instantly accept payments, run an affiliate program, begin selling products or offer services and add products to the market place. Click2Sell also gives the marketers the power to know how their customers were able to find out about their products, such as what keywords they used to find the products that the marketers are promoting. By advertising the best products, the affiliates will be earning money easily.

The most popular affiliate program in the world today is Google AdSense. Who doesn’t know about this program? This is the most used and most efficient program today. You see it in Google, Friendster, Facebook, MySpace, anywhere in the internet. It is in fact very hard to remove on your Friendster account no matter how hard you try to remove it. Google AdSense is very easy to use by anyone who wants to earn money by just posting appropriate ads to their website. As the owner of the website, you have the power to choose what type or what kind of products will be advertised on your page.

AffiliateWindow dot com is the most popular affiliate network in the United Kingdom. This is because they have many programs that offer appealing commissions. You can also choose to provide contextual promotions, however these depends on the keywords you provide instead of the one taken from the context of every web page.

Business IT Networks – 5 Common Problems Overlooked by Entrepreneurs

IT Networks though simple, require extensive planning to ensure stability, yet we often encounter businesses that are unacquainted with the imperative role networking plays in the efficient functioning of their company.

Informed business entrepreneurs often opt to upgrade their networking systems to suit their organizational structure. Although upgrading is an expensive, time consuming process, its benefits are ten fold. Though, there are some small size companies that insist on having a Windows XP workstation function as a network server, this decision may eventually lead to decrease in efficiency and productivity of the entire Information Technology environment.

Network Consultants should always analyze the nature of your business so as to recommend a networking/Information Technology system that would be the best fit for your business. IT Consultants should evaluate both hardware and software requirements to guide your company through the pros and cons of various networking options that your business may be considering.

From a network consulting standpoint, these are five common problems that are either neglected by businesses or not included in the overall planning of the Network Infrastructure.

Disaster Recovery: Although entrepreneurs are risk takers they provide for all contingencies. While they insure their store and goods against fire, theft, natural calamities, etc., in many cases they ignore the need to implement a disaster recovery plan for financial records, employee payroll and client data. Losing valuable customer information to a fire would result in temporary chaos and a financial drain. Therefore, a data recovery system should be available to restore normal operation within 24 to 48 hours.
There are several options to evaluate depending on the size of the business. A good Technology consulting company should be able to assess the needs and accordingly recommend an IT recovery plan that is fool proof yet affordable.

Redundancy: Although businesses are advised to maintain an alternate or redundant source of power supply for critical servers, many entrepreneurs ignore this simple loss prevention method in order to save a few hundred dollars. For example, servers that process customer credit card transactions are not exempted from the probability of failure and if not backed by a redundant power source, it may lead to a major financial loss. The point that I am trying to get across is that important network equipment should be identified and a redundant plan should be implemented to provide against unforeseen circumstances.

Network Security: Viruses are not strangers to the world of computers and internet. While performing technology analysis and auditing we come across businesses that have servers on DMZ without network security [http://www.onsitechicago.com/networksecurity.htm] measures like a simple firewall. We have seen instances were employees had full access to the network server running virus inviting programs like Limewire. An obvious result of this would be a slow network. In most cases, passwords for workstations, servers etc. are identical and shared. Impermeable network security plans should be implemented especially when business IT infrastructure holds confidential information of clients or individuals that may become a risk as well as an embarrassing situation if lost or stolen.

Network Speed: Businesses always focus on maximizing efficiency and productivity at the lowest cost and what better way to achieve this goal than to minimize wastage of employee time? Speed of IT networks depends on many factors from simple network security policies to restrict P2P software to intelligent switching hardware. You may be surprised but network infrastructure cabling (Cat 5, Cat 6, and Fiber Optics) also makes a significant difference on the performance of the entire network.

Expandability: Change in networking structure is an option that should always be open for clients. To plan ahead is important as a business need not overhaul a huge part of their network to see an insignificant benefit. A simple example would be to anticipate network storage requirements of data. Clients often overlook the importance of discussing options with consultants to make sure their IT system remains adequate for at least 3 to 5 years. The aim should be to minimize dollars spent without hindering the quality of work being performed by employees.

Consultants are professionals and while their recommendations should not be overlooked, they should not be adopted blindly either. As a customer you are entitled to know the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of every suggestion made. Request layman’s explanation for every problem encountered. Most importantly, ensure that the 5 major and basic areas are covered in the initial audit reports or recommendations made by any Technology consulting company.

Onsite Chicago is Technology Consulting Company for business in the Chicago area. Featured in major newspapers they are considered one of the top business network consulting firms. To view a complete list if IT services from Network Management, Network security and data / telephone cabling please visit Chicago Business Network Consultants page.