My universum Part 1: Is my network attractive enough?

25th, October 2012
 
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by Tom Haak
 
in  Social Media, The Future of HR
 
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I was stimulated a lot by a recent blog of Robert Paterson .
He showed how LinkedIn helped him to map his network.
Via the link in his blog I immediately made my LinkedIn network map, and you can see the result below.

I am active on LinkedIn since January 2006, so now nearly 7 years, and I use LinkedIn to capture my network. I connect only to people I know and to whom I like to be connected. Sometimes I “weed” my database, and I try to stay under 500 connections.
What do I see on my map? At the top, in blue, are my relations that stem from the times I worked at Philips Electronics. Still quiet some relations from those days. In orange, below Philips, you can find KPMG. The Philips and KPMG networks are certainly connected. Going south we enter a small neighborhood with my wife at the center. Mostly people in the town where are live. As she works in a different sector, our networks are not strongly connected. Going more south you find an exclusive green village called Aon. I worked at Aon from 1998-2006. The Aon people seem not very much connected to my other connections.
On the right side we find a highly populated purple area with an orange suburb: ARCADIS and Young ARCADIS. My suppliers are scattered on the plot. The consultants from our assessment company are camping (in light blue) just below my name. Our real partners in business are really embedded in the organization: a couple are purple, in the middle of the ARCADIS city. It is remarkable (or maybe not)  that most young Arcadians live in the orange suburb. One of my team members is the big orange dot living on the highway between city and suburb. She is an important node between young and old (“indispensable”, as she said when we studied my graph). Of course we immediately made her map.
She is generations younger, but her network looks already strong.Her map can be found below.

Somehow I am a little jealous on her map: it has more esthetic qualities than mine, I think. Immediately clear: it is a lot easier to distinguish the different parts of her network, and there is less mingling ( yet). Also: her network has a bigger part related to study and friends. My university years hardly left a trace in my network. This might also be because I (Baby Boomer) keep a more clear distinction between work and friends (no “just friends” on LinkedIn).
The rest of the day was lost, as we were producing network after network, all with different qualities and look and feel. All stimulating discussion and creating some insight. And food for thought! What if we could map our complete organization? How could we use this as a talent management and staffing tool, e.g. by detecting the real connectors in the organization. This is only the beginning, but, as said, very stimulating and thought provoking. Thanks LinkedIn for making this available. Will be continued!

Inspired by Robert Paterson: My network revealed – now what can you learn about yours?

LinkedIn Network generator

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About the Author: Tom Haak