Wednesday, December 13, 2017

There is nothing to beat nurturing relationships to create KLT

In a world where technology is quickly depersonalising the business world, one company knows that personal trust is still the best way to grow enterprise and industry alike.


As business becomes more automated, robotised and disrupted are we facing the possibility that it

could become depopulated?

Not if Toni Fitzgerald has anything to do with it.

She’s the keynote speaker, award-winning writer and business consultant who specialises in helping CEOs of small and medium businesses gain the opportunity to grow through developing their own personal brand and extending the reach and influence of their personal contacts.

Toni is adamant that personal communication will always be a critical factor in business best practice and that’s why she became a founding member of Business Builders Group.

The BBG model is essentially about bringing CEOs of SMEs together in an environment that provides solutions to the perennial challenge of how to grow their business.

There is arguably no lonelier job in the world than that of a CEO who can’t meet corporate growth objectives. CEOs in big companies have the internal expertise to call upon for help but arguably the best source of support for those running SMEs is BBG.

BBG’s primary focus is on encouraging a mindset of Know Like and Trust between members and making it a catalyst for business growth opportunities through an exchange of business referrals.

However, by no means does that comprise the full extent of member benefits.

BBG provides in addition an environment where CEOs communicate personally with their peers to exchange the business intelligence, ideas and insights that help them stay in touch. There are also presentations from experts in business disciplines and personal contact between members is increasingly leading to initiatives such as alliances tailor-made to securing new business opportunities.

Also on The Big Smoke

Toni is creating a range of products and tools exclusively for BBG members.

They will be designed to help CEOs become famous in their market categories, equipping them with an image and authority that facilitates development of a personal contact network with profitable prospects.

Toni’s turnover has increased by $45,000 through personal referrals from other BBG members and her referrals on their behalf have produced a similar result. The sort of Know Like and Trust that generates lucrative business referrals doesn’t happen overnight but when it does, Toni bears testimony to its potential as a powerful business-building force.

The clear message both from Toni and BBG is that no matter how technologically advanced a company is it will never reach full potential without the benefits of effective personal contact at top management levels. That can never be replaced by the Internet.

BBG holds special functions like Mastermind Lunches and Gala Events that afford members the opportunity to bring along clients and prospects to reinforce personal relationships.

Regular meetings of BBG chapters are scheduled for early in the day in order to minimise the demand on member work-time and membership fees are set at levels which guarantee they become a profitable business investment.

BBG members comprise solicitors, accountants, physiotherapists, manufacturers, travel agents, financial planners, business consultants like Toni and many more.

The best way to take a closer look at BBG is to attend one of their forums or regular meetings as a guest free of charge. If you are located in Australia phone Geoff Hirsh on 0411 681 122 or in Singapore phone Susan Seah on 65 6339 8505. They will advise about membership availability in your local chapters and the best opportunity to join a team with the potential to grow your business.

You’ll find BBG offers a unique opportunity to grow by staying in touch.

So What is this thing called KLT?

Join us as a gust at our next breakfast - register at

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The most important secret of a successful Networker

How to network as a BBG Member 

Networking isn't a transaction, or a series of transactions. You have to build real relationships with people over time to make your networking effective. 

People who network with a view to help other people get incredible benefits from it. 

We call it a”Spirit of Generosity”

When you ask someone to donate their precious time and attention to you by having lunch or coffee with you, you are asking for a big favor.

Instead, try meeting people for coffee and making the meeting all about them - not you. People love to talk about themselves, the same way you love to tell people about your business. 

Ask them questions about what they're working on and what's new in their lives. They will blossom when you show a real interest in them. Maybe even offer to refer someone to them (using referron of course ;)) 

Then at a certain time in the meeting, they are likely to ask "But what about you? How can I help you?" 

It’s called the law of reciprocity 

Then you will talk about your business  like this:

Your friend: But what's new with you,  Toni? You mentioned in your message that you have a new business 

You: Yes, I am really excited about our new Training Business , where we are able to provide business owners with coaching support that could be potentially be funded by the government.

Your friend: Do you have specific companies in mind? Maybe I know someone.

You: Thanks! Yes, clients who we can add massive value to are in the fashion industry who have products that have the potential to be exported. 

Your friend: I know someone at Fashionista and I think my old friend Bev is working at Zimmerman  -- let me refer you to her!!

End of Script

You spent most of your networking coffee time hearing about your friend's challenges with her Flatmate and her subsequent move to a new suburb, but in the last three minutes before you parted she offered to make a fantastic introduction for you.

Networking is about building glue between two people -- not about pushing your agenda down someone else's throat, as tempting as it can be to do that!

Try easing up on the sales  pitch in your upcoming networking meetings, and see how both you and your friend relax!

Networking is a tremendous long-term mojo-and-muscle-building activity.

You will get great ideas and moral support from your networking pals, and you'll give them the same in return. It's amazing how good it feels to give someone else good advice when they need it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

These are the countries contributing most to global growth

Written by World Economic Forum and Jeff Desjardins Founder and editor of Visual Capitalist

People walk past office buildings at the central business district in Singapore April 14, 2015. Singapore's central bank on Tuesday surprised markets by holding them off from further monetary easing, saying an improved outlook for global growth would underpin the trade-reliant economy. REUTERS/Edgar Su      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

China and the U.S. account for most of the global growth, with India and the Euro Zone not far behind.

According to forecasts from earlier this year by the World Bank, the global economy is expected to average a Real GDP growth rate of 2.8% between 2017-2019.

But where will this growth actually happen? Is it in giant countries that are growing at a stable 2% clip, or is it occurring in the smaller emerging marketswhere 8% growth is not uncommon?

The chart below looks at individual countries between 2017-2019, based on their individual growth projections from the World Bank, to see where new wealth is being created.

China still tops

Even though growth has slowed in China somewhat, the World Bank still estimates its economy to expand at a 6.5% clip this year, and 6.3% in both 2018 and 2019.

Add these numbers onto the world’s second biggest economy (and the biggest in PPP terms), and you have an incredible amount of growth. In fact, about 35.2% of global GDP growth will come from China over this period of time, putting the country’s economic output $2.3 trillion higher.

Uncertainty in the U.S.

While the U.S. is also expected to contribute a significant portion of global growth, the World Bank had a fairly ominous caveat to their projections over coming years.

The U.S. forecasts do not incorporate the effect of policy proposals by the new U.S. administration, as their overall scope and ultimate form are still uncertain.

– World Bank, Global Outlook Summary

That said, the World Bank does also mention that the tax cuts proposed by the Trump administration could theoretically bump up U.S. and global growth if implemented. However, with all of the chaos in the current U.S. political environment, the tax cuts have been delayed for now – and some analysts are scaling back the chances of them even happening at all.

Other growth hotbeds

Beyond the usual suspects of China, India, the Eurozone, and the U.S., it is interesting to see Indonesia as the next biggest bright spot using this type of analysis.

In fact, the world’s fourth most populous nation will account for 2.5% of global GDP growth over the aforementioned time period, adding another $160 billion to its $941 billion GDP. The World Bank projects growth for the country at 5.3% this year, and 5.5% for the next two years.

The other countries that registered as providing 1% or more of global growth?

They include: South Korea (2.0%), Australia (1.8%), Canada (1.7%), UK (1.6%), Japan (1.5%), Brazil (1.2%), Turkey (1.2%), Mexico (1.2%), Russia (1.0%), and Iran (1.0%).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A networking case study - (spoiler alert... it works!)

Let me start by doing you a favour. If you’re time-poor or not in the mood to read a long Post, here’s the summary:·    

    Networking worked for me and the business I represented
·        I went in with a plan
·        I knew what I was going to say well before I stood up at each meeting and that ‘story’ wasn’t necessarily the same each time.
·        The Law of Reciprocity is as relevant today as it was 35 years ago when I attended my first Chamber of Commerce meeting.
·        Following up works and is time well spent.
·        IT TAKES TIME! This is neither a quick fix nor a source of instance results.  

Now, if you’d like some detail, please read on.
Networking - Def’n : “An expensive exercise that results in a lot of bacon and eggs breakfasts being added to your diet “.
If that’s been your experience, I can promise that you’re not alone. Networking, when done badly, can be a depressing and costly experience, both in money and time. 

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel though. If Networking is managed and planned - just like your other business activities – it can be an important driver of growth and success. 

I can hear you now. “Yep, been there – done that” or “I tried it – didn’t work!” Hopefully though, there are many of you reading this who, like myself, have seen the benefits of having a structured approach to Networking and have had success as a result.

Here’s a first-hand example (call it a Case Study, if you like) of what can be achieved with a structured, planned approach. I’m not going to write a ‘how to’ for Networking here. There are plenty of people who can provide that for you here in LinkedIn.  This is more about “Here’s what I did and hope it’s helpful “.

Try before you buy.
There are multiple options available to Networkers in most regions of Australia. My own choice came down to:
·        7 different Chambers of Commerce
·        3 BNI Chapters
·        3 other structured Networking organisations with up to 3 Groups in the local region.

While my previous experience in the region gave me some insight and few contacts, which meant I wasn’t going in ‘cold’ to some relationships, that’s not necessarily a benefit in all cases. I found that I spent the first few minutes of face to face discussions explaining where I’d been and what had happened in the past couple of years and then having to listen while the other person told me everything that was wrong with my old employer since I’d left there. 

What I did have, however, was a reasonable expectation and knowledge that membership of Networking groups and business chambers will wax and wane over time.  A little research showed that there were one or two key Chambers of Commerce in the region and that’s where my time was best focussed.

Likewise, a bit of research into memberships/attendees at Networking groups like BNI etc., gave me a priority list to work with.

The key points out of this process were:
·        I joined my local Chamber of Commerce in the first instance and chose two others where the membership seemed to be dynamic, proactive and well-connected. There was a fair amount of membership crossover between these Chambers and other Networking groups in the area as well.
·        Most Networking organisations welcome visitors and, while their approach and structure may vary, you can generally attend twice without needing to join and can get a feel for the potential and “fit” for your business.  I went to as many as I could and, as many meet fortnightly, this took nearly 3 months to complete the process. 

Go with a plan
First question, before you visit or even consider signing up as a member for any other these is:
“What do I want to get out of this?”

 In my case, I was representing a local charity and, despite having been founded 8 years earlier, there was almost zero brand awareness with SME’s in the region. I needed to meet people who would give me 30 minutes of their time later to tell them about the charity and ask them to support us. That ‘ask’ varied, depending on the ability and potential of each business.

The secondary aim was to build an army of advocates and this required a confidence and trust building program that takes time – so Networking needed commitment and a real focus on the Law of Reciprocity. In every conversation I had I’d be thinking: “Do I know someone who can help this person or could benefit from their skills and experience?
I found that I ended up disposing of about 1/3rd of the business cards I collected in my first 6 months, all of which were handed to me in conversations, rather than me taking them from a tray etc. 

Get you story right!
My 30-40-60 second Elevator Pitch changed over time but it was an evolving process, not a sudden change from week to week/meeting to meeting. As I learnt what other people needed to hear about the charity I represented, I tailored to story to suit the audience. 

If I was attending as a ‘newbie’, for example, it was a straight “this is who we are and this is what we do”. Very succinct and to the point. Once some relationships and a brand/profile had been established I was able to talk about a forthcoming event or a specific case where “this is what we did with the money we raised” became the focus. Better still, “this is what the recipients did with the funds we gave them” because more powerful once the brand/profile was in their minds.

Follow Up!
Goes without saying, right? The quality of the follow-up is important though. While I’ve been caught out occasionally when I forget that LinkedIn will send a ‘default’ message if you’re not careful, writing a specific, personal message to each new contact was vital. The same goes for an email follow-up. It’s a matter of seconds, rather than minutes in most cases and well worth the effort.

Likewise, I didn’t wait for the other person to contact me for that coffee chat or meeting. And, just like the Elevator Pitch changed over time, so did the discussions in these one on one meetings. In the early months, a lot of time was spent talking about “this is who we are/what we do” and, once some rapport was built over time, later meetings focused more on “this is what we can do to help each other”. 

Deliver on that promise!
It’s not just about following up with a promise you make to an individual. I did my best to attend each and every meeting. In some cases, a decision had to be made when different organisations/groups had meetings or events that conflicted but, when sending the RSVP or apology, it was important to say why you weren’t attending. And I wasn’t afraid to say that I was attending another group or event if there was a clash – people talk and it’s better to be honest.

Invest the time
A leader at one of the networking groups (a health professional) told me that it was 6 months before he got his first referral from the group. In another group, one of the ‘champions’ told us that she received all of her new business via referrals from her networking efforts. 

No-one gained instant success and, in my case, it was around the 7-month mark before I’d say that I hit a break-even point where time and money spent was matched by results. The growth in support and income kicked up from there however and we gained a number of supporters and contributors after 12 months and, most importantly, a small army of advocates for our charity amongst the local SME sector.

Personally, I went in knowing that Networking would work for me if I did it right. While representing a charity gave me some access that I would have had to pay for otherwise, there’s no doubt in my mind that I would have had more success if it was my own business I was representing. Also, there's no way I would have been given those opportunities if I hadn't delivered on my promises (made sure I turned up when substituting for a member, for example). The reciprocity was very one-sided and meant that I had to work a lot harder to build those relationships and trust.
I’m leaving this charity role soon and will be moving overseas. My first step, when establishing a business in another country in the future will be to seek out local networking groups and go through the process above all over again. Looking forward to both the challenge and the results.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Personal Branding - do you have a website?

The Bob Pritchard Column 

Branding is usually associated with companies, products and organizations, but today it is more and more important for individuals to establish a personal brand. In my line of work, my personal brand is critical to my success, so we actively cultivate the Bob Pritchard brand. According to an AVG study, 92 percent of children under the age of two already have a digital footprint.  In fact, due to our exposure through digital media, almost everyone has the basis of their personal brand.  Now you can cultivate and fashion it to provide a powerful force for your future or you can allow it to form haphazardly, primarily by others.
Firstly, you need to think of yourself as a brand
What do you want people to associate with you when they think of your name? Is there a certain subject matter in which you want to be perceived as an expert or are there general qualities you want linked to your brand? Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand. A strong personal brand can yield tremendous ROI whether you are working with an organization or leading one.
Audit your online presence
You can’t mold perception without first understanding the current status. First, Google  yourself and setup alerts for your name on a regular basis. If you have a fairly common name then consider using your middle initial or middle name to differentiate. Or, as a very successful and talented friend of ours in the music business did, added an adjective and became “Screaming” Rachael Cain.  Cultivating a strong personal brand is just as much about being responsive to what is being said as it is about creating intellectual property.
Secure a personal website
Having a personal website for yourself is one of the best ways to rank for your name on the search engines. It doesn’t need to be robust. It can be a simple two to three page site with your resume, link to your social platforms, and a brief bio. You can always expand on the website with time.
Find ways to produce value
Don’t post utterly mundane or ridiculous crap, find ways to add value to your audience by creating or curating content that’s in line with your brand.
Be purposeful in what you share
Every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share, contributes to your personal brand.  Your brand is an amalgamation of multiple daily actions. Once you understand how you want your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about how and what you share or post.
Associate with other strong brands
Your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands. Find and leverage strong brands which can elevate your own personal brand. Start with the three C’s: company, college, colleagues. Which school did you attend? Are there groups you can join? An alumni newsletter you can contribute to? What hidden opportunities are available within your company which you have yet to tap? Consider submitting a guest post to the company blog or look at other digital assets you can connect to your brand.
A strong personal brand is dependent on a strong narrative. In other words, what’s your story? Take a second to think of celebrities you know who have a strong personal brand. Mark Cuban. Martha Stewart. Richard Branson. They all have a very clear story and a consistent brand. If you have multiple passions or areas of interest, a narrative becomes even more crucial so there can be unified theme.
Most importantly, remember that a strong personal brand should be ubiquitous and ever evolving.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hate Networking? This 1 Technique Will Make You Anyone's Best Friend

Joey just gets it - and it would be awesome for him to present at a bbg forum! 

Rory notes that every single goal you set for yourself or your business involves a personal connection with another human being.

"If you're looking for an opportunity, you're really looking for a person."

That investment you want? What you really need is an investor.

That sale you're after? What you really want is a customer..

The one thing to do to make your business successful is to focus on relationships 

Networking is a nightmare - because you get a room full of people focussed on selling there stuff and nobody there to buy!

On the other hand, you don't hate spending time with friends or socializing because you know that the other people don't have a selfish reason to talk to you. You want to spend time listening to them, because you know they'll listen to you afterwards. They know you, like you and trust you! 

So, what if you could make all your business relationships--and, by association, your business goals--personal?

Social interactions are all about giving and receiving

When others really listen to you and treat you with respect, you feel obliged to treat them in the same way. It's a basic cultural rule that has been drilled into us from an early age.

We call that "a spirit of generosity"

There is a basic law of  reciprocity, and it's a concept referenced in every introductory psychology course and every well-known marketing book. It's also No. 1 of the Six Principles of Influence in psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini's classic book, Influence.

"I am obligated to give back to you the form of behavior that you first give to me," explains Cialdini. He continues:

The implications for a leader seem to be clear. If you wish to be more influential...the first question you should ask is not "who can help me?" The first question you should ask is "whose business circumstances and outcomes can I advance?" Because by virtue of reciprocity, those people will then want to advance your outcomes.

Using reciprocity to build real relationships

Sure, it sounds easy. But how exactly do we apply this idea to networking and building business relationships without running ourselves dry?

Here are a few suggestions of ways to create value and reciprocity without breaking the bank:

  1. Solve a problem: Offer up a creative brainstorming session or anecdotal advice to someone's problem. Even just asking "how can I help?" works.

  2. Offer access to your resources: Do you have something you could easily lend out that would help this person? Either your tools or your audience?

  3. Facilitate a connection: Do you know someone they want to know, and could you make an intro?

  4. Ask insightful questions: Can you show that you're invested in them and their work? Do you know an issue they're struggling with, and can you ask insightful questions to get them engaged in the conversation?

  5. Give a small gift: What pleasant surprise can you offer? A discount code for your service? An invite to an exclusive event?

Remember, reciprocity is a two-way street

Reciprocity like this only works if you're willing to act the same way. Understand when you "owe" someone else for their favor, and acknowledge that you'll return their good gesture.
The returns on the value you give to people won't happen overnight. After all, you're building a network of allies and acquaintances who want to help you, and this naturally takes time to manifest.

However, the more value you put out into the world, the more reciprocated responses you'll get.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Some cool Videos on BBG


Snippets of our BBg Launch Think Tank on how to thrive in a stagnant economy

Snippets of our BBG South Africa Launch

Heidi Kaye Interview with Tony and Chloe 

Bill Cates Inspiring at our gala event in Brisbane and Sydney 

BBG Albert Park Forum

Sydney Launch 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Creating a Culture of Reciprocity

Reciprocity rings can help bring hidden resources to the surface and encourage a culture of generosity.
When Rui Kang, a December 2017 MBA candidate at INSEAD, arrived in Fontainebleau, France to start her programme, she worried about getting to see her fiancé on a regular basis. He lives in Lille, two hours’ drive away and with no way to get there, Kang needed some help. But, as she quickly discovered, she was in luck.
INSEAD’s December 2017 MBA students took part in the inaugural round of “Reciprocity Rings”. The ring consists of a group of people who get together and ask for something they each need and cannot get or do for themselves. In addition, as each person takes a turn articulating their “ask”, the other members of the reciprocity ring are encouraged to think about the resources they might have to help the person asking for help and to make as many offers of help to others as possible. Even if they are not able to help personally, participants can also connect the person to someone in their network who might be able to help them. Reciprocity rings were introduced during the MBA Orientation Week to break down barriers and add to a culture of reciprocity at INSEAD.
When Kang, originally from China, asked to share transport with anyone heading to Lille on a regular basis, Ruxandra Tosun, a campus recruitment coordinator at INSEAD who volunteered to facilitate the Reciprocity Ring exercise during orientation, answered the call. Her partner, Maxence Torillioux, visits Lille almost every weekend to see his parents. Two days later, Kang was in the car with Tosun, Torillioux and their dog, heading to northern France. They struck up a friendship, learning things from each other and providing additional help. For example, Torillioux, a wedding photographer, gave Kang some ideas for her wedding.
Kang was also a valuable source of information for Tosun. “She gave me some insight into student life, what they were doing for the welcome week, what the students are talking about. For me, that was really amazing because we work with students all the time but if you have a good relationship, you can understand them better,” she said.
The friendship would never have come about if Kang hadn’t asked and if Tosun, a facilitator who wasn’t “officially” a member of the Reciprocity Ring group, had not been generous and volunteered to help.
Pay it forward
The reciprocity ring concept was developed by Professor Wayne Baker, a sociologist at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and his wife Cheryl Baker, CEO of Humax. It rests on the idea of generalised reciprocity, a powerful way to spread gratitude.
Generalised reciprocity is triggered when a person receives help from someone else, but instead of paying it back to the person who helped them, they help someone else or “pay it forward”. Take the “Kidney Chain” as an example. In 2009, Matt Jones from Michigan wanted to donate a kidney to a total stranger just because he could. Barbara, who lived in Phoenix, was dying from kidney disease. Jones’ kidney saved her life. Her husband Ron would have donated one of his kidneys to her but they didn’t have compatible blood types. However, he was so grateful that he donated one of his kidneys to another stranger, whose relatives were also so grateful, they did the same. And on it went to become the longest-running transplant chain, changing the lives of 20 people.
Creating cultures of reciprocity
According to Baker’s research, the simple act of helping someone else compels the person receiving help to help others. In the paper, “Paying it Forward vs. Rewarding Reputation: Mechanisms of Generalized Reciprocity”, he studied two ways of facilitating generalised reciprocity. One way was by rewarding reputation, i.e. peers monitor one another in their organisation, helping those who help others and refusing to help those who do not. The other method was the “pay it forward” mechanism, which naturally occurs when members of an organisation help third parties purely because they themselves were helped.
Baker found that altruism had stronger and more lasting effects than rewarding those based on their reputation. The most sustainable way of facilitating generalised reciprocity, therefore, comes from creating a “pay it forward” culture.
Paying it forward is an organic movement, but it needs a trigger. That trigger comes in the form of activities such as a reciprocity ring, a guided and structured exercise that can start the ball rolling. But there are a few considerations for facilitating an effective reciprocity ring.
First, it’s best for it to take place in person. Recent research shows that requests made in a face-to-face setting are 34 times more likely to be answered than those over email.
Second, participants need to have clear goals. We ask our students to come up with two SMART goals – one professional and one personal goal. These are specific, meaningful, action-oriented, real and time-bound. Meaningful goals can be incredibly powerful. When I took part in a reciprocity ring at the University of Michigan a few years ago, one of the most memorable requests came from a woman who got up and asked for help on behalf of someone else. Her friend had a very serious and rare disease and had to travel frequently between Michigan and Texas for treatment. Due to the expense, she simply asked all of us if anyone was willing to donate some frequent flyer miles to help him pay for the travel. Most of us who were able to donate our miles did so.
Third, small groups are best, with a maximum of 25 people. If any requests go unfulfilled, the request can go out to a larger or different group in the organisation. During our Reciprocity Ring exercise in January, in the unusual case that a request went unfulfilled, we put the request to all of the other groups in the room. In the end, all requests were met with resources from one or more people present.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Another important role of a reciprocity ring is having people get over their fear of asking for help. They don’t want to appear weak and often grossly underestimate how willing other people are to help. In a paper by Frank Flynn of Stanford Graduate School of Business and Vanessa Lake of Columbia University, the researchers found that people underestimated by 50 percent the number of people they expected to ask to get a certain number to agree to a request. The researchers also found that asking for a favour verbally was more effective than handing out a flyer with the same request.
As a result of the introduction of reciprocity rings at INSEAD, students used their new-found connections and resources to form tutoring groups for students keen to brush up on finance, mock interview groups in preparation for recruitment, a wine club and even a band.
Kang became more confident about helping others when she saw how generous people could be. “Maybe I won’t pay back Ruxandra directly, but if someone needs my help, I would be happy to give it. Since the exercise, I’ve offered help to my peers when they needed explanation of some concepts we learned in class. I’ve offered to introduce my personal contacts in the automotive industry for those interested in a career in that industry. I’ve also helped organise some student events. I am certainly inspired to continue this once I become an alumna,” she said.
It is for these reasons that organisations should try, where possible, to facilitate an asking culture. Such an approach could also help companies start to address gender disparities. Linda Babcock of Carnegie Mellon University shows in her research that men are more likely than women to ask for what they want. Levelling the playing field with a universal “asking” culture could make women more likely to step forward.
For the ever leaner corporation and for those facing new challenges and opportunities, a reciprocity ring can be a low-cost method of uncovering unknown resources and helping to connect the many dots between employees and other stakeholders. Reciprocity is about both offering and asking for help and, at INSEAD, we are using reciprocity rings to help us unleash the diverse resources and generosity of INSEADers.
Schon Beechler is a Senior Affiliate Professor of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour. She is also the Academic Director of the MBA Programme at INSEAD. Follow Schon on Twitter at @ProfBeechler.
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