“Connect is a core element of diplomacy. Our Embassy connects different people and networks from the Netherlands to relevant counterparts in Belgium and vice versa. By connecting people, we open new channels and create new opportunities for entrepreneurs, politicians, artists, researchers, investors, writers etc. A win-win situation that benefits the Netherlands and Belgium.”
“Connecting is key in the world of an industry federation.
Pharma.be is the voice of the innovative biopharmaceutical industry in Belgium representing more than 130 biopharmaceutical companies varying from start-ups to big corporations, active in research & development, production, commercial activities and export.
Belgium is one of the world leaders in clinical research. One of the reasons for this success is based on the connections, strong partnerships between the excellent academic centers and biopharmaceutical industry in Belgium.
In 2015 the “Pact of the Future for the patient”, a multi-year framework, was signed between the Belgian government and the pharmaceutical industry. This is a unique policy approach with focus on the patient.”
“The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word Connect is the mission statement of the GSMA and the mobile industry – Connecting Everyone and Everything to a Better Future. A Better Future is only possible with more women connected and empowered to lead the way forward in governing and leadership roles. The mobile industry admits there simply are not enough women working in the telecommunications sector. We know that companies with a gender diverse workforce are better able to innovate and outperform their competition. So, by connecting with people we not only open up ourselves to new opportunities, but are also able to make a positive global change.
Throughout my career, making connections has been very important. I love linguistics and “connecting” with people. By making connections with lots of different people in different and, very often, international contexts I have been able to make an interesting career so far and experience different cultures. I do hope that I can also enthuse other female leaders at the start of their career to discover their abilities and interests. I have a motto: when in doubt – act! It really helped me take risks and do things that I did not know I was capable of. For that, making connections is crucial. It can really take you to new heights and test your ways of thinking.”
“I firmly believe in the fact that in our professional lives we reach success and get things on the move only with teamwork; so, connecting with people in the right way is of paramount importance. The word ‘connect’ and ‘connection’ tend nowadays to assimilate because of social media. Although social media are facilitating enormously to the exchange of ideas and innovation, there is also quite a dose of ‘digital dust’ that goes with them. I prefer to think of ‘connect’ and ‘connections’ in terms of depth, continuity and authenticity – or… simply put: ’persons I trust’.
The best networks are the ones built as part of an important project: studying for an MBA, putting together a business case or being tasked with others to the program for the annual office off-site. They are not necessarily large networks but they are the ones to which I can regularly refer to for asking and giving advice, in full honesty. Make sure you nurture these ties with the right blend of LinkedIn updates and face-to-face interactions!” Click on read more for the sequel.
“For me the theme Connect on a professional level is all about the match between personal values and goals and those of the organisation. The identification with the organisation’s values and goals is essential for the personal commitment and for giving meaning to my daily work.
When I moved to Brussels for my secondment at the European Commission, I learnt that making connections is all about a mind-set and personal goals. My determination to connect as soon as possible, made me very open to my new working and living environment. My eagerness to integrate took away all possible reticence to connect and the result was that I felt included very quickly. That experience made me realise that the key to successful connections are my own mind-set and my receptivity to others.”
“Connecting applies in so many areas. It is not only understanding what the customer wants and acting accordingly, but also deeply relating to another person. It is also the role you play in different situations. When you connect, you find the right solution, the right tone of voice, the right feel. And you connect by thinking in terms of the organisation’s DNA.
Connecting is meeting the right people, in the right place, at the right time. You have to connect to make a deal. Yes, it is your job, but it is also very rewarding if you can help someone by offering them the right advice.
Of course, you do not do it single-handedly. You need a team of self-reflective people who are willing to give you feedback. You cannot do it on your own.
Making deals often involves negotiating with all kind of different people. This makes it interesting but it can sometimes be challenging. Rather than focusing on your differences, it is better to focus on what you have in common. Occasionally you have to back down and compromise, but hopefully you learn from the experience. Then, in future, you are more likely to anticipate and act accordingly. Eventually you learn how to handle it.”
“Connecting is always important, but crucial when you move to a different country or work with people from other backgrounds. Connecting with people from a different culture while speaking a language that is not your mother tongue may seem harsh at first, but it is merely a small hurdle to overcome. Differences force you to explain what was once obvious to you and that creates more in-depth discussions and an improved understanding for the other and yourself, moreover, it strengthens the connection.
The connections made with people from a different background, once achieved, are very strong and last for a long time. Connecting with people from various backgrounds has enriched my life, both business wise and personally, and taught me not to take anything for granted. I am very glad that some of the connections I made in my career are now a part of this global event in various places.”