People bring to their job more than just the skills they have accumulated through years of education and experience. They also bring the assets they can procure through their social networks.
Research has shown that success depends on our relationships with others as much as it does on ourselves. Pay, promotion, and accomplishments are largely determined by the structure and composition of one's personal and business networks.
It's not size- the sheer number of contacts maintained by a person- that counts. Rather it's the diversity of connections- the number of different types of people, units, expertise, technologies and viewpoints- that people can access through their networks.
Building effective networks which display size, quality and diversity is a skill that we are rarely taught. Instead silos are ubiquitous at all levels of organisation and lead to inefficiency though not allowing the full resources within an organisation to be leveraged.
The benefits of networking are well researched and include: daily job support, influential access, emotional support, political support, information and ideas, innovation and business development.