“Some people make the future; others wait for it to make them”

I used that quote at the front of my book The Maintenance Scorecard and I have been using it in my professional and personal life since I was in my twenties. (Let’s just say that was recently.J)

Making the future sounds like a good idea, but in reality… it’s hard. And often dangerous on a personal level. Just ask anyone who has pushed an initiative even though his or her line manager wasn’t interested.

Something that has allowed me to stay afloat in these turbulent times is the ability to create and hold long-term relationships, or Networking. I am a prolific net-worker, I enjoy making connections and meeting people who I share common interests with, and I like to have the opportunity to help others when (or if) they need it.

But in our game, networking is not an easy thing to do. We rarely meet with one another, there are web forums but they are terribly anonymous and informal, and we are often not the sort of people who are part of the “Facebook crowd”. (Fortunately for us)

Yet there is a driving need for it…

As a new and young discipline, we have a burning requirement to exchange leading practices and communicate with others around the world.

But - right now there are other reasons for networking… the Talent Crisis.

For example, all over the world where I travel I meet clients who are desperately trying to find talent – and talent that can help to take them to the next level in whatever they’re doing.

On the other hand, I also meet a lot of very talented individuals (Mechanics, consultants, instrument fitters etcetera) who are interested in expanding their horizons, or are in a bad situation that they want to get out of.

So for me, the problem is obvious. We need to find a way for all of us to be able to meet each other and to be able to contact professionals all over the globe without having to go to an expensive conference somewhere, or having to endure relentless sales pitches. (By email or whatever)

So I have created The Reliability Hub.

This is a networking group that I have created on LinkedIn, it is non-commercial (totally), I am going to do my best to protect it from spammers and other charlatans.

It works like this; LinkedIn is a professional networking site for boring professionals like us. I have been there for a while and I use it a lot. Many of the people I meet there are CEO’s, senior consultants, or senior managers – so it’s very well used. (My profile)

  • You decide what information you put up there (Have a look at my profile to see what you could do)
  • You decide if others can contact you or not
  • You get no newsletters or anything like that
  • You can invite others to connect with you and to recommend your work, or you can recommend others

I use it a lot, the benefits I think it will bring to all of us are:

  • Ability to connect with others around the globe in our area
  • A tool to help find good resources in the areas that you need
  • Capability to look for advice or help on issues relating to what you are doing
  • Availability to be contacted for opportunities

The last point is interesting.

Since being on LinkedIn, people have contacted me for roles in the USA, the UK and Australia – as well as being able to develop relationships with high rollers in my industry (consulting) all over the globe.

One word of advice on networking – Make connections – not contacts, make friends – not acquaintances. People I met through networking 15 years ago still send me emails today for Christmas; it’s great to have a wide net of friends out there.

Check The Reliability Hub