The rigours of executive leadership in today's global economic climate have made continuous business networking an imperative for savvy corporate managers in every function and industry.
Solving new challenges and putting out complex organisational and political fires on a daily basis remains a reality. But increasing pressures for performance, new competitors, tougher markets and stressed budgets may linger and help shape a certain new reality in which to manage and lead.
Technology now enables business networking as never before. However, the biggest obstacle to making the most of it is failing to institutionalise it into one's regular business activities. So, in many cases, business networking and the intellectual capital it might provide falls to the bottom of a continually expanding agenda.
But this lack of executive commitment to executive networking may come back to haunt the overworked business manager at that point in time when they decide it's time to begin exploring new career options.
Farmers know you reap what you sow. So, too, must even the most career-confident business leaders see business networking and the continual launch and cultivation of trusted business relationships - face to face and online - as a form of career insurance.
Business networking, therefore, is indeed both a career and business imperative, not to mention a treasure trove of incredible experience and perspective with which to see through even the most opaque of business dilemmas.