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Networking – With all the tools, meetings and conference calls, where are our Networks?

Rebecca Winston, JD, PMI Fellow

USA

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Recently I have been doing genealogy as a hobby for both my spouse’s family tree as well as my own.  While researching yet another illustrious and sometimes infamous relative of my spouse I got to thinking that as a profession we do not celebrate our family nor do we truly document it.

No I am not suggesting one can create a family tree of project management individuals or another in a long line of directories.  I am suggesting that we acknowledge our networks and grow our networks.  Yes, I realize we do what we refer to as networking at events, but do we really have a network.  To me there is a distinct difference and one does not necessarily cause the other to be created or exist in an operable state.

To assist in understanding what I mean by the last statement, allow me to offer up some connotative definitions of both networking and network or our professional “family” network.  Networking has often been defined as a connection used for market or professional advancement.  My definition is much more expansive and to some extent is a blend of social and professional networking.  Networking is the action or series of actions of professional and social outreach resulting in interactions that are positive in nature and can be socially as well as professionally beneficial for one or more parties to the network interaction but extend beyond the single point of interaction.  The structure of relationships that result from the interaction extending beyond the single point of interaction is what I refer to as the network.  I would in no way restrict the definition, as many have to do only those in one’s profession.  I know of no profession that is totally self-reliant.  A true social, professional network should and does extend beyond one’s singular stated profession.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

REBECCA WINSTON, JD

Former Vice-Chair, Chair, Fellow – PMI®

P/PM Consultant to US Government

Idaho Falls, ID, USA

Rebecca (Becky) Winston, Esq., JD, PMI Fellow, is a former Chair of the board of the Project Management Institute (PMI®). An experienced expert on the subject of project management (PM) in the fields of research & development (R&D), energy, environmental restoration and national security, she is well known throughout the United States and globally as a leader in the PM professional world.  Rebecca has over 25 years of experience in program and project management, primarily on programs funded by the US government.  She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska’s College of Law, Juris Doctorate (1980), in Lincoln, Nebraska and has a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) degree in Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University She is a licensed attorney in the states of Iowa and Nebraska, USA. Active in PMI since 1993, Rebecca Winston helped pioneer PMI’s Specific Interest Groups (SIGs) in the nineties, including the Project Earth and Government SIGs, and was a founder and first co-chair of the Women in Project Management SIG. She served two terms on the PMI board of directors as director at large, Secretary Treasurer, Vice Chair (for two years), and Chair (2002). She was elected a PMI Fellow in 2005.  She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of Female Executives in the United States.   Ms. Winston periodically serves as an advisor to organizations such as the National Nuclear Security Administration (USA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on topics ranging from Program and Project Management to project reviews, risk management and vulnerability assessments. She has extensive recent PM experience in the areas of alternative energy, national defense and security, and has worked closely with local, regional and national officials, including Congress and the Pentagon.  Becky can be contacted at [email protected].