Networking can work very well when you know what you are looking for, but most often we build relationships with people without knowing if they will be of great help in the future. The trick lies in creatively forging networks with a long term view.
We focus on the kinds of connections that matter and then let people determine strategies for connecting. But we are finding that overuse of online media can significantly hurt productivity and well being by driving network overload. Over the past five years we have seen a definite need for executives to become more facile at pruning networks because of the way these tools provide access to already busy people.
If you want to build a genuine network, remember this: when you meet someone don't think about what he can do for you - think about what you can do for him.