Listen to the podcast here:
Intentional Networking with Kim Bohr
We are here with the fabulous, Kim Bohr. She is amazing at intentional networking. She is going to be sharing her tips and tricks with us. Kim, welcome to our show.
I’m excited to be here. Thank you for having me.
Tell us a little bit about what you do and what is intentional networking? You said strategy. I was impressed just by that.
What I do is I have a boutique strategic consultancy and we focus on helping organizations and leaders get through all the overwhelming pieces of their decision-making and help them to scale and grow. One of the tactical ways we do that is through this lens of intentional networking for strategic advancement. It’s getting very clear and intentional about where you put your time in order to help you advance a goal you have. That goal might be within your business or it might be to get new clients. It might be areas that you know you want to grow in your career, you want to get on a board, things like that. It’s about taking the time to plan and be very thoughtful about where you’re going to put that time as you move forward.All the statistics show people leave jobs because of leaders, not because of the product or necessarily because of money. Click To Tweet
There are so many times a day gets away from us and we spend our time doing things we’re not even sure what. How did you come up with this plan?
It was based on over the years, even for myself personally, realizing that many people do not tap into their network until they absolutely need it. It might be when they’ve just hit the dead end of a job and they become very frustrated. They realize their business isn’t growing in the way they would like it to be. What ends up happening is we start to go move into more of a panic and move into trying to tap a network that we haven’t been nurturing. It doesn’t have the right mix that it needs to for the goals that we have set. The idea of intentional networking is to say, “Let’s look at what the goals are that you want to have, and they can be multiple. Let’s start to plan how you build those contacts into that network now when you don’t need it so that you can reap the benefits when you want to tap into it.”
I love what you said, “Nurture the network,” because that sounds like so many people start a business and then they’re like, “Come, Kim. Come to me.” If you haven’t nurtured the client, if you haven’t given them something first, why would they? I always say it’s like asking for sex on the first date.
The idea of this intentional networking is not one-sided. The idea is that it’s meant to be able to enrich relationships and be there and be a resource for other people when they need your expertise as well. Becoming more intentional allows us to be more in service to others. That’s missing in a lot of networking and a bounding component of what I’ve created here.
What is one tip that someone could do to nurture a network or be more intentional? Let’s say they’re starting a business. They have a ton of friends and family, they have past coworkers. What would you recommend?
The one tip I recommend is to get clear on what it is in your career or in your business that you want to move forward. As you think about what that one thing is, then start to look at what I call your network ecosystem. For many people that might be your LinkedIn network, your friends or your family. Start to look at, “Are the people that you need to move that goal forward there?” That’s the first place to start. If the answer’s no, then you know that’s the gap you have. That’s where you start to put your ask together of, “What is it that I want to go and move forward?” I have some questions I always have people reflect on as well that helped them get clear on this fashion.
What are a couple of those questions?
A couple of those questions are looking at how well-connected am I in this network, this ecosystem, this particular area I’m focused on? Is this a mix that I need to get me to my next goal? Who or what is missing? Who in my network might be able to help me open up new conversations? It becomes a great piece of reflection, especially as we’re always looking to build and grow and be more intentional and more prepared.Leadership requires a lot of work and a lot of investment for yourself and from the organization. Click To Tweet
Give me a client story or a success story that you’ve had where you used this process with them, the intentional networking strategic plan, and then what happened.
One individual I was working with before was a woman that was in an established professional career. She realized her network had a lot of women in it. One of the parts of the conversation I have with men and women is we need to be helping each other. What she started to focus on was realizing that her network full of women alone was great, but it wasn’t going to help her advance. She needed to have men and women in the network because she realized we’re more powerful together. She started to work on breaking down her network with the tools that I had shared with her and started to look at where the gaps were and started to be specific. She was making and started building more relationships with professional men in her network as well that she then realized it was making her network stronger by having the mix of both.
Sometimes it’s the blind spot.
Unintentionally, it’s not that we are trying to necessarily prefer one over the other. When we start to look at it from how we are trying to build our business, there tends to be a need for us to leverage all genders and all types of people that we’re coming across.
I love what you said that we’re more powerful together. That’s a little bit on the right mix. How did you get the word boutique?
The reason we took that approach is that we’re not the big, huge strategy houses that are out there. We’re very much focused on mid-sized growth organizations, early funded firms and entrepreneurial companies. What we thought on that was we’re not going to be the super big houses, but we’re coming in from a small, nimble perspective. We’re able to be more in line, more direct and quicker than many of the bigger firms. Our boutique approach is coming from that place.
What attracted you to having a heart-centered business? What was that transition like for you?
It’s been ingrained in me for so many years. I don’t even know where it started. Even when I was working for other people and helping them build their companies, I always was very much grounded in the belief that businesses needed to be better than it is now and that it all starts with people. That’s been such a key element to anything I’ve done. When I launched this company, I started to look at people at the core. If people have poor leaders, they’re not going to be able to reach their fullest potential and it then impacts the business. For me, it was the opportunity in a way to impact business and the organizational level and then people at the individual level and bring them both together.You can't always see what you don't know. Click To Tweet
That’s such a key component because so many companies see their people as employees, but employees are people. We take the human factor out of business. If you don’t take care of the person’s needs, either they’re not going to perform at a great level or they’re going to disappear.
All the statistics show people leave jobs because of leaders, not because of the product or necessarily because of money. That’s so much of the problem. We can have a great product and we can have a great strategy, and if we don’t have great skills around leaders, all of that can fall apart. The goal of our firm at The Innovare Group is to bring both the strategy at the organizational level and the skill at the leadership level together to help businesses be better and to have that heart-centered focus.
You mentioned you’re heart-centered, you’re nimble, you’re quicker, you’re more in line. What is a good client for you? Who would be a good client for you?
A good client for us is a couple of different buckets. One is that from an organizational level, we look at VC funded firms, entrepreneurs and mid-sized growth organizations that are trying to sort through what’s overwhelming and complex to them so that we can help them figure out those pieces and scale and get them on their way. From an individual level, a lot of the work we do does center around leadership consulting and coaching. It happens to have a lens focused on advancing women. On the leader level, we have that portion. Then on the organizational level, we have the bigger strategy work.
You talked about people leave because of the leader or they lack the skills of a leader. What are some of the benefits to leadership consulting and leadership coaching? What are some of the results you’ve seen from that?
What we’ve found is that people realize they have insight and control for their own careers, even as leaders. Nobody wants to try to go to work and do a poor job leading. I have found over and over again that many people believe that once they receive a leadership title, they think they’re supposed to automatically with it come all the skill set and complexity and have it all figured out to lead. It’s not true. Leadership requires a lot of work and a lot of investment for yourself and from the organization. What we find is that when people can start to learn skills, they start to get reinvigorated and they start to see clarity and realize that they are capable of helping other people see the best in themselves as well.
As a leader, sometimes you’re banging your head against a wall, but you can’t go to anybody because you’re the leader. You know there’s a better way or maybe there’s a blind spot, but who do you turn to? Having that outside perspective is invaluable.
It really is, and sometimes leaders have a hard time and think that it’s a weakness to ask for help from the outside. It’s a very great strategy to leverage because you can’t always see what you don’t know. We don’t always see our own blind spots. The better we can do it quickly having someone else help us, then we can accelerate our own growth and put ourselves in a position to lead well. It’s a point of strength. My work with leaders is always to help them reframe and see that this is an opportunity for them to grow and be a stronger leader and contributor to their companies.
How can people that are looking for this leadership consulting or a little better of nurturing their network find you?
They have a couple of different ways. I’m happy to have them reach out. The best way to reach me directly is at KimBohr@TheInnovareGroup.com. Our website is TheInnovareGroup.com. On LinkedIn, I can be found under Kim Bohr and on Twitter, @KimBohr. I welcome everybody to reach out and learn more about our work, learn more about our Intentional Networking for Strategic Advancement course. I’m excited to help leaders grow.
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Kim. It has been a pleasure.
Thank you. I’m excited to have had the time to speak with you. I love talking about leadership. Thank you for engaging with me. It’s been wonderful.
To our audience, we appreciate your time. Be sure you go to Facebook, Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine and join our Facebook group so that you can continue the conversation with our great heart-centered entrepreneurs like Kim Bohr. Take care.
- Kim Bohr
- LinkedIn – Kim Bohr
- Twitter – @KimBohr
- Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine – Facebook group
About Kim Bohr
Kim is the CEO of The Innovare Group, Inc., aboutique strategic organizational consultancy. With over 20 years of practical business experience as a cross-functional executive, Kim’s goal is to make business better from the inside out. Kim’s diverse business experiences -successes as well as failures -were gained serving on boards and working for global, corporate, VC-funded, non-profit, and family-owned businesses. Kim loves to help companies and leaders bring clarity to the overwhelming and overcome the strategic hurdles that are holding them back.