Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year, 2006!

People have highly individual approaches to making new year resolutions. Even Uncle Sam wants to help, and does so by providing statistics on the kind of resolutions people make. I would like to wish you with something different this year.

Through my alumni connection, I found an extremely interesting book, displayed at left, titled 'How to be a Star at Work', that was recommended to me by one of the alumni of the Indian Institute of Science, Prof. A. K. Rao, when we met in November 2005. This book is a result of Prof. Robert Kelley's research into why only a handful of scientists and engineers go on to become stars.

The author emphasizes people networking as the most significant trait that distinguishes stars from non-stars. Note in an anecdote that he contrasts the work approach, and the effectiveness of individual knowledge networks, of two otherwise equally well-endowed individuals, Katy and Rob. "Katy and Rob are an even match for the 60 percent of knowledge from their own brainpower, but Rob's network is no match for Katy's when it comes to closing the 40 percent knowledge deficit they face on their new assignment." In conclusion of that same chapter, he states, "Without [knowledge] networks, the stars know, they are on their own. And to be on your own in this mind-boggling knowledge economy is to be lost."

Deciding to improve networking, as described in this book, is a worthwhile new year resolution for everyone in general, and professionals in particular. I wish you a very happy new year in cultivating your professional network.