The Harvard Business Review has an excellent article on networking. Hat tip to Linda Hendry for posting this on LinkedIn.It seems that casual interactions don't really do much to build meaningful connection - and besides, we aren't very good at them anyway. Below is the most telling quote, but it is well worth reading the whole lot, and then pondering - how do I get those high stakes activities? I volunteer, and yes, I sell.
“Potent networks are not forged through casual interactions but through relatively high-stakes activities that connect you with diverse others.” In other words, schmoozing at a mixer is far less likely to lead you to a powerful network than jumping into projects, teams, or activities that draw a diverse set of people together.