The 4 advantages of membership in network organisations

As an organisation you don’t operate in a bubble, of course. Developments in the field, the sector, the region, but also on a national and international level have a strong influence on your business. Think about changes in tax rates, new labor laws or innovations in the industry. But also if you want to respond to new assignments and developments in the market, it is important to keep in touch with what is happening around you. For example by joining network organisations. What the benefits of network organizations are and how to get the most out of them, I tell you in this blog.

Benefit 1: Acquisition of new knowledge

Network organisations come in all shapes and sizes. These include branch and professional organisations, business associations and organisations such as VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland. They are also the organizations in which experts work together to serve large customers. This is especially common in ICT and in the construction industry. A network organisation can also be a new way of working together to respond to changes in society, such as in healthcare. What the different types of network organisations have in common (and what makes membership of them so useful) is that they organise regular meetings and lectures. This way, as an organisation, you can spar with others in your field or with your target group.

Also useful: if you become a member of a network organisation and subscribe to their newsletter, you will receive weekly or monthly updates on relevant developments in your sector, industry or field. Network organisations also regularly give discounts on workshops, courses and training. This will keep your knowledge up to date and make it easier for you to deal with the developments in the market.

Benefit 2: Maintaining contacts

In addition to knowledge development, the opportunity to make and maintain contacts is also an important advantage of membership of a network organisation. Especially because you can make contact on different levels. In vertical networks, for example, you meet people who are higher or lower in rank in comparison to each other (e.g. potential clients or employees). In lateral networks, you will mainly meet participants who are “of equal standing” (such as in networks consisting of ICT specialists, lawyers or architects who have joined together in expert groups). It is important that your entire network is balanced and consists of people who are higher, lower or equal in rank.

Maintain all those contacts well and invest in your relationships! A LinkedIn connection is really not enough. Meet up for a coffee, talk to each other, invest in the stand at the trade fair that attracts a large part of your network, go out to dinner with the supplier of a promising innovation. Who knows, maybe the people you meet can help you further with your future plans.

Benefit 3: Broadening your perspectives

Another advantage of being a member of a network organization is that you come into contact with new perspectives. During networking events and workshops, you learn more about the developments in your sector, your customers and their needs. And when you are with similar organizations in another country, you learn from each other and broaden your view of society. This provides valuable insights into cultural differences and similarities. This is true internationally, but just as true nationally. The Netherlands may be a small country, but the people are different in every region. Because of the new impressions you gain, your vision widens, the image of your surroundings becomes richer and you discover possibilities you would never have seen from behind your desk.

What is important is that you dare to adapt to other people in your network organisation(s). Don’t stay in your own bubble during meetings, but seek out people with a different perspective. Be curious and marvel, without judging immediately. Then you get the most out of it and get a better idea of what’s going on outside your organization.

Benefit 4: Creating value

When you work together with other parties in a network organisation, you reinforce each other. Not only in the economic field (think of a partnership or cooperative), but also if you want to create more value in the ecological and social field. After all, sustainable entrepreneurship with respect for the environment works much better if you do this together with ten other companies. Join Green Deals, for example, or share experiences in new ways of working together or business mobility, and reduce your business footprint. Or join organisations that are involved in sustainable entrepreneurship (MVO Nederland, B Corps, Social Enterprise NL) so that together you can create value on multiple levels. By dealing with the larger social issues in this way, you will better prepare your own organisation for the economy of tomorrow.

Network organisations: not a party, but serious business

Finally, an important tip: when you are a member of a network organisation, keep in mind that the relationships you make are reciprocal and the contacts professional. Socializing and friendship are certainly important, but the network meetings should be about something and not become exclusive clubs. When you put the content first, maintain your contacts seriously and sincerely and are open in your intentions, you will see that membership in network organisations is extremely beneficial and therefore very valuable for the development of your business.

Would you like to know more about tomorrow’s economy, the creation of value in multiple areas and your role as manager in this? Then download the ebook “Leading in the Economy of Value” below. Or
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Pim Valentijn

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