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Leo Burnett SF
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Rupert Runewitsch

Head of Social + Mobile

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Big Omaha Day One: The Power of Networks

We can do more and do better through working with each other.

The kick-off to Big Omaha solidified for me what the intention, spirit and power of the conference is about: Each other. How we can each do more and do better through working with each other.

Ted Rheingold from SAY Media, the first speaker, talked about how important networking is. What he sparked for me though is that networking is about much more than finding people to fund your work or colleagues to work with, but about drawing knowledge and inspiration from each other. None of us knows everything or how to do everything, but we each have a repository of people filed away in the folds of our brains that we open up when we can't find a solution to a problem. It's our transactive memory at work: I may not know the answer or the way to do something, but I know someone who does. This is how we get to true collaboration, a way of working that isn't about just throwing more people at a problem, but the right people at a problem.

The other bit that makes this network of doers and thinkers so valuable is what we are able to draw from it when we aren't actually working together. Knowing others' strengths, styles, quirks and brilliance means at any time we can actually borrow inspiration from these people. They don't have to be actively involved in what we're doing, but just by connecting with them we can strengthen our own ideas. And because every time we work with someone new, we learn something new. Each person we work with gives us the gift of their experience.

This is the real power of our networks. When we build it right, we make each other better.