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Let’s be plain honest here…times are changing. The face of organizations & business owners around the world is changing from that of money-hungry fat men to those who want to achieve social capital. The importance of CNOs is more than ever before in these changing times as they are the ones who are given the responsibility of social capital due to their experience in the relative businesses.
Now, for those who have been busy running behind money, social capital is the corporate term for both economic & cultural capital in which social networks are central. Here the transactions are primarily based on trust, cooperation & improvement in technology, which is where the skill set of CNO comes into play as it’s their mission to ease the corporate know-how transfer, safeguard diversity, foster innovation & finally facilitate profit growth.
Now, before filtering the content on just CNOs, let’s also see a bit about business networking. In simple words, it is a business activity that is socioeconomic in nature & needs to be done by business professionals to build social capital. The concept has been there & has been executed from the inception of business concepts but it was mostly through the models of face-to-face or through the hard paper format.
Marketers used many techniques which included trade show marketing and loyalty programs, variants of which are still applied but online marketing opened a new door to business networking primarily due to its ability to track each & every detail of a campaign.
Business networking is one core skill that every professional should have in their kitty, especially CNOs.
The idea of CNOs is not exactly new. Even though the position as such has been around since 2004, the importance of creating connections between people & businesses within the organization & with others along with consumers and giving importance to the innovation of services /products while focusing on profit growth has been practiced by businessmen from the dawn of trade systems.
Executives within organizations have been executing the duties of this particular role under various titles & designations even before the term “CNO” came up. What differs them from the current set up CNOs is that they lack the integration IT departments of the organization they work with. Networking received its new meaning as of today due to the emergence of social media marketing & other digital marketing platforms which made the role of CNOs in organizations indispensable.
CNOs of today are an integral part of the C-suite along with CEOs of majority corporates. They are constantly on the lookout for making the best connections. This in turn is actually a blessing for B2B marketers who want to expand their businesses. Having the right marketing details of CNOs can help marketers go a long way in establishing their business presence & ultimately sales.
As all leading executives of corporates, CNOs are also required to have a specific skill set. Let’s check out some of the essential skills:
CNOs should have relationship skills drilled into their DNAs. They have to be confident, communicative, personable & genuinely interested in human beings. CNOs have to be serving leaders, who should be concerned with the self-development of members of his/her internal network team along with the stakeholders of the outside network. Their ultimate goal should be to create long-term partnerships that are fair & will mutually benefit both internal & external networks.
Having deep knowledge about the business & market will go a long way in accessing whom to contact for a particular task. This also enables the CNOs to act in a timely manner so that no opportunities are missed out.
The networking skills of CNOs aren’t just about getting connected with a huge number of people but also maintaining those relationships. This also counts with the relationships they have within their internal circle. CNOs should act as serving leaders, business networks portfolio strategists, and also as mentors & trainers to those who work under them.
There’s widespread talk around the market that the role of CNOs is best suited for women. This is because the soft skills culturally common to women can promote their careers in areas that include public policy & large-scale business development. But the real scene is far from near to it.
There are stories of 50-year-old men who have donned the role of CNOs & excelled in it by efficiently utilizing the contacts they have made up during their corporate years along with the ones they have generated using social media networks. The role is purely based on skill, likewise to the majority of the corporate roles which can be executed with patience & approaching strategically.
For the past few years, it has even become a new career opportunity for many as being a CNO can help people to stand out from the crowd & offer unique services to the companies they work in. Knowing the right people can help you go a long way in the corporate world.
CNOs are the modern maze runners who establish connections in the corporate labyrinth. The role of CNOs has been changing over the years & day by day more resources are coming up which can be utilized for the perfection of this role. What shouldn’t be forgotten is that ultimately it’s all about people being the core of any business. The best CNOs know this & that’s what makes them the best.
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