Links to JEF Speech


Here is a summary of the speech given over the weekend to the JEF Convention 2007. To access the speech, check the following links:

For Audio:

For the Slides:

Here is the press release:

New ways to network for Caribbean Managers

Kingston, Jamaica, May 5, 2007: Attendees at the JEF Convention 2007 in Ocho Rios on May 5th, 2007 were challenged to upgrade their networking skills to keep pace with the threats and opportunities of CSME. The speech they attended at the conference was entitled “Networking Strategies for the new Breed of Caribbean Managers.”

The workshop was lead by Francis Wade, a Jamaican consultant and President of Framework Consulting In., headquartered in Hollywood Florida, USA. Mr. Wade, the founder of the 14 year-old firm, has been working with companies in Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica to address business issues that have a particularly difficult people dimension. During that time he has had to develop some innovative techniques for networking that “violate accepted wisdom.”

In his speech, Mr. Wade noted that the old ways of networking – on the golf course and on the cocktail circuit – were only suited for a small subset of professionals. He said “business-people who force themselves to attend these kinds of events give networking a bad name.”

Instead, he advocated an authentic approach that anyone can follow, building on real commitments, rather than manufactured interests. He gave the following 10 tips:

1) Be Brave: Don’t follow the crowd, and allow yourself to be distinctly different from everyone else

2) Know What You Are Passionate About: Pursue whatever area of interest you have, and become an expert in that, rather than following areas that are popular, “logical” or even areas in which you have current skills but no real interest

3) Drop the Miami mind: Think of yourself as a Caribbean professional rather than having half your mind in the USA, Canada or England

4) Reach Out From Your Interests: Take the areas you are passionate about, and find others in the Caribbean who share them

5) Ignore Distractions: If someone tells you what you “should” be doing to network, and it doesn’t fit your natural interests, ignore them! Also, if the actions you take feel forced or contrived, stop them.

6) Embrace Internet Technology: If you have a distrust of new technology or the internet, overcome it, knowing that your future as a professional is inextricably tied to how you are presented in cyberspace

7) Google Yourself: Use a Google search to see what is already being said about you on the internet. Make this your baseline

8) Design an Online Self-Portrait: Define the online “portrait” of your accomplishments, skills and interests that you would like people to see on the internet

9) Actively Participate: Join in and contribute to online discussions related to your areas of interest especially if they are Caribbean based. If they don’t exist today, create them by sending out invitations to regional partners

10) Write!: Find interesting ways to use ezines, blogs and mentions on web-pages to share your thoughts on your authentic areas of interest. Write frequently!

The Bottom Line is that professionals must take advantage of the changes coming with CSME and the existence of internet technology to network in a way that feels natural. While our literacy rate in Jamaica puts us at a disadvantage compared to countries such as Trinidad and Barbados, we are often seen as being more assertive and outgoing, and we should use this to our advantage.