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

Emaximize your surroundings and let the funthusiasm guide you…

Emax Auditorium - Photo by Stik i Rend Film

Read the full story of the greatest entrepreneurial event of 2010, Emax Nordic 2010.

It is Saturday noon and an excited group of people of different Scandinavian nationalities are arriving in Svendborg. Some have been in the staff team before where others are there for the first time, but common for all is that they are excited for what this event will bring. Everyone is politely saying hallo to everyone and already at this stage do people seem to get along quite well.

As everybody has arrived the training session for what is going to be the greatest entrepreneurial event in 2010 has begun. The main goal of the training session is besides getting informed about all the necessary details of the event, to develop 3 core values that form the purpose of our presence at Emax Nordic 2010. Klass Brynte was in charge of the training session, and through different games and challenges the core values was created and the team that was going to give the participants an experience for life was formed and united.

To make Emax Nordic 2010 a successful event we need: Communication, Professionalism and Funthusiasm.

Emax Nordic Arrival at Svendborg College - Photo by Mads Laumann
Emax Nordic Arrival at Svendborg College – Photo by Mads Laumann

The Emax Staff team was ready for the arrival of 180 wonderful participants and Sunday afternoon the first bus finally arrived. The atmosphere was a little strained to a start, but as people got to sit together the air was soon filled with noise from the networking participants. From there it did not take long for people to find different games and activities to keep them entertained and everyone seemed to enjoy the sunny afternoon. It seemed pretty clear when talking to a random samples of the participants that they were here to win the business simulation, but they were soon to discover that the Emax team had others plans for their stay.

Remember to press “like” to the facebook button!

Emax Nordic 2010 was officially opened by Board member of Foundation for Entrepreneurship, CEO of Nordea Bank, Mr. Torben Laustsen, who welcomed the participants to a week of inspiration, motivation and great fun. The auditorium was heating up and it would be fair to credit the Emax Staff who were dancing, clapping and going nuts in the favour of the participants.

During the day the participants were introduced to the business simulation game, but before that, teams were created and team building games and exercises took on. An important lesson from the team exercises is: if you make people touch each other, you will bring them closer together. “Suddenly a simple conversation with strangers does not seem that frightening anymore.” However the highlight of the day was the lecture with Caroline Ahlefeldt, who impressively succeed in bringing life to the word funthusiasm. She rocked the stage for half an hour and gave all the participants, motivation and inspiration to get the most out of Emax. She sure inspired every single one in the auditorium and brought with her what I would like to refer to as the true Emax Spirit.

Emax Spirit - Photo by Mads Laumann
Emax Spirit – Photo by Mads Laumann

Next day the entire team as well as participants were still high on the energy from the meeting with Caroline Ahlefeldt and after a delicious breakfast, the first day of business simulation could begin. Tuesday was also the day of several great workshops hosted by six great lecturers: Lykke Rix, Klass Brynte, Josefine Arenius, Carsten Borch, Thomas Groennemark, and Henrietta Clayton Smith. The workshops touched different entrepreneurial topics such as leadership, idea training and coaching, but all with the same purpose of educating the participants to become greater entrepreneurs.

In the evening time there were arranged a ferry trip from the harbour of Svendborg. The ferry trip was a great opportunity for the staff as well as the participants to relax after a day of a lot of information and shared knowledge. Many spend the time as a getaway from the speculations of the business simulation, and from all the discussions of tactics.

A night of Wildness

“I have personally never in my life seen over a hundred people go nuts like that.” After the ferry trip and a great barbecue at the harbour all the participants went to party at the Hostle. Over a hundred great entrepreneurial spirits were dancing their butts off on the grass simply driven by the great developed Emax spirit. The participants were dancing all night long, but were ready and awake, the next morning for a day of even harder challenges.

Day of the great finally

The day started 7:30 with the news that the Police had paid a little visit around midnight because of complaints from the nearby neighbours. Apparently the Emax spirit is not shared by everyone!

However Wednesday was the last day of a truly adventure and the participants had to play the last two parts of the simulation game. As people had talked strategy throughout the entire week the subjects had slightly started to change. People were still taking the game serious but the funthusiasm had spread and everyone seemed to be emaximized.

During the day there were two lectures. One regarding Immerterial Values and one under the name of The winning Helix by first Magnus Hakvåg and second Christina Anderson. It was clear that even though we had to do with the foremost entrepreneurial spirits of Scandinavia, the participants were tired and the lectures were tough. But everyone managed and when the long day of educational lectures and business simulations were over the ladies and the gentlemen finally had the opportunity to prepare and get dressed up for great gala-evening.

Alexander Hold with the Emax host Josefine Arenius
Alexander Hold with the Emax host Josefine Arenius

The gala were hosted at Svendborg hotel in a nice environment with room for dining and partying. The evening offered three courses dinner, great entertainment, disco dancing, live music and of course the announcement of the 2010 Emax Nordic winners. Great congrats to the winners of this year’s Emax Nordic 2010.

The participants as well as staff were dancing all night, but just like another Cinderella story the ball ended at midnight.

The final conclusion

When the participants arrived they came with the believe that they were here to win the simulation game, and they were. But as the event evolved they realized that the event was about so much more. What started to be the main focus turned out to be a minor part of a greater purpose, and other factors such as having fun and making friends became vital. I strongly believe that Emax has changed the life of many of the participants. It surly has changed mine and I have realised how important it is to create and maintain your network.

Remember Network is Power and Emax is where entrepreneurs create network.

Help me share this article with your friends and network and encourage you surroundings to sign up for Emax Nordic 2011 taking place in Norway.

Thank you.

Feel welcome to place a comment to this article and do not forget to see the Emax Video for the event of 2010.

Leaders of a Sustainable Future! – 2009

Young Enterprise Alumni Conference 2009

I did some voluntary work in the planning process of the 6th annual European Young Enterprise Alumni Leadership conference, and by that automatically qualified myself for the conference.

The 60 most engaged JA-YE Alumni’s from across Europe were gathers in Copenhagen for 5 days of non-stop horizontal expanding activities. Everyday doing the conference the base for knowledge were shifting and Danish companies were hosting the activities. Of locations can be mentioned: COWI, Novo Nordisk, Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and Experimentarium.

The conference had the theme of sustainability, and the following keynote speakers were pushing the limit of sustainable understanding: Martin Pedersen – COWI, Tim Vang – MyC4, Brynhild Vinskel – JA-YE Alumni Europe, Penny Perry – JA-YE, Morten Feld – Novo Nordisk, Skip Bowman – Conmoto A/S, Jesper Vej – Copenhagen University College of Engineering, Peter Schliemann – Green IT, Ministry of Science and Technology of Denmark, Lasse Lorentzen – Innovative Reflections, Espen Sivertsen – Kaouspilot, Tine Tygesen – Managing Director Venture Cup, and Nynne Christiansen – Experimentarium.

Especially Tim Vang from MyC4 challenged all participants and myself included. MyC4 is an online marketplace that connects people from all over the world with African entrepreneurs, who lack capital to develop their businesses. With the internet as a platform, MyC4 bridges the gap between people with needs and people with means. Tim Vang was in general talking about the concept of social entrepreneurship, and how companies should do something to change the world for the better, while making a profit.

The conference helped me expand and strengthen my network, while I expanded my horizon concerning sustainable leadership and business development in general.

Read the full documentation of the conference here

Young Enterprise Alumni Conference 2009
Young Enterprise Alumni Conference 2009