What Network gives you!

Alexander Hold in workshop situation

This article is a front runner for an article about my visit to Vilnius, Lithuania, that I will publish during one of the next days. So stay tuned!

I have a motto sounding: “Network is Power” and have you followed me on the web, you will probably have noticed the phrase used a couple of times. I strongly believe that this sentence is true, and here follows a definition as well as an explanation.

For clarity of the subject we need to define Network, and there are among expert in the field of networking discussions about whether or not network is an actual action or a lifestyle. Both definitions seem reasonable as in corporation they harmonize and either of them can be excluded. Living networking, you need to take certain actions to fulfill the lifestyle, and if you take actions on networking it seems reasonable to say that you already are living the lifestyle.

Networking requires two basic skills which is the ability to listen and the ability to contribute to a discussion. When you possess these skills you can take action and you can start live you active lifestyle as a strong networker. Various authors have written interesting books on the matter on becoming a good networker, but the aspect that I have chosen to focus on in this article is what actions on creating a great network can give you.

What network gives you?

There are many opportunities for creating network both actively and also more randomly. Randomly is more connected to a lifestyle point of view, where general arrangement in listening carefully and communicate with the people around you. More actively you can join various networks and seek networking with likeminded people as yourself.

Personally I joined the Danish Young Enterprise Alumni Organization (YEAD) back in 2008 and I became a member of strong Danish network with entrepreneurial minded people like myself. My membership was an active action on creating a network and today I am thankful for what the network has given me. Through YEAD I was quickly introduced to the European Junior Achievement / Young Enterprise Alumni Network which opened a door to a European network with connections all over Europe.

What this network have given me is unbelievable, and not just can I claim that I have contacts and friends all over Europe. I have also traveled around to various locations and attended exclusive events and been educated by some of Europe’s most successful business- men and women. Since I joined YEAD as my first real network I have experienced more than I could ever have thought possible and I have made friends with some of the most inspiring people I have ever meet.

So why join a network!

My best argument for why you should join a network of any kind that interest you, is that you get on the mailing list and you start receiving exclusive opportunities that you would not have gotten elsewhere. As soon as you are in the inner circle a whole new world will open for you and things that you thought impossible or unbelievable suddenly seems possible and believable.

Network is a future investment!

I started out with “Network is Power” and I will end with “Network is Power”. Because on a future perspective your created network will might be good for other things than great experiences.You never know if the friend or connection you make today will end up being the CEO of a successful company that you will do business with in the future. Having established that relation will give you a head start in a future business situation and Network suddenly becomes a very powerful tool.

Network is Power but do not forget the basic skills of networking. You need to be able to contribute as well as receive.

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(09-10-2010) The article about my trip to Vilnius is now online and can be found right here an Alumni fairy-tale

Jan A. Nielsen Scan-Speak

Today Jan A. Nielsen the CEO of Scan-Speak visited Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology. Scan-Speak were for many of the participating students a well-kept secret, and when Jan asked all who knew what Scan-Speak were manufacturing to raise their hand, only two did.

Jan A. Nielsen used to be like many students are today, confused about what to do with his life, which resulted in that he became a state authorized accountant. It however clear that he had no interest in working as an accountant and instead he were hired as financial director in Vifa, which today is known as Scan-Speak.

From here Jan’s story just took off, and became much more exciting. A company that no one in the audience really knew of, turned out to have a turbulent story with economic problems and shifting ownerships. But as all good stories should end, the story of Scan-Speak also turned out to have a happy ending when Jan bought the company in 2009.

Jan A. Nielsen was full of experiences that he wanted to share with the students, and a thing he had learned from his carrier was “never to stay too long in the same company. “ If you want to develop as a person, you need to seek challenges. Some companies are really good at challenging their employees, but sadly there are also a lot of companies that do not. Too many employees develop habits in their current position, and when that happens, it is a good indicator for seeking new challenges. Jan took on his own challenge, when he decided to move him and his family to USA, for a year.

Jan mentioned Nike’s slogan “just do it” as one of his personal lessons. It was matched with his hope of everyone being passionate about what they do. Not just in their spare time but everywhere and with everything they do.  His last personal lesson was to acquire a wide range of knowledge while studying, simply because of his belief that the final specialization happens in the company. A recommendation was to find a mentor that could help you see your weaknesses, so you knew where to do better.

It was a huge pleasure to have Jan as guest at the University, and hopefully we will be able to bring him back at some other time, to tell another exciting real life story.

Next Thought-Leader Seminar is Wednesday 5th of May 2010 – at 14:45 to 16:00 in Unimerco Auditorium – Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology.

Alexander Hold with Jan A. Nielsen CEO of Scan-Speak
Alexander Hold with Jan A. Nielsen CEO of Scan-Speak

Danish Export Day – 2009

Danish Export Day 2009

November 19th 2009 I participated at the event Danish Export day supported by “Dansk Erhvervsfremme” and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event was hosted by LEGO in Billund, and was opened by the Danish Secretary of State, Per Stig Moeller.

During the day there were a series of lectures concerning foreign trade and globalization. Joergen Vig Knudstorp welcomed us at LEGO and introduced us to the new reality of LEGO, “Back to Basic”.

One lecture that I especially took notice of was Peder Oestbjerg from Green Team Group telling about how they exported their impressive production of Christmas trees all across Europe.

Another interesting Lecture came from Nuance, which had totally quitted all effort at their local market, Denmark, and had instead focused 100% at foreign export markets. Today Denmark only counted for a few percentage of their total turnover.

At the event I attended a workshop about how to choose markets, presented by Carsten Krogh Hansen and Jens Peder Jensen. The workshop was really interesting and I advanced in my knowledge and general understanding about export markets in particular.

Read the documentation of the program here (in Danish)