The cicada: networking at 120 dB

If you live in Southwestern Virginia or West Virginia, I bet you haven’t missed a networking party that is going on right now.

06/06/2012


This is a Magicicada from Virginia. Courtesy: B. Alcorn

If you live in Southwestern Virginia or West Virginia, I bet you haven’t missed a networking party that is going on right now. It goes on day and night. Sometimes it even sounds like it is coming from inside your head! It is the chorus of the Magicicada. This is the 17-year, Brood I cicada, also known as the Blue Ridge cicada. 

Why are they “singing”? Well, you know why! It’s always the same thing. They are trying to find a mate, of course. They have several different sounds to accomplish this. Really—I don’t think they are doing this just to annoy human beings, but who really knows for sure? They really are networking to meet their spouse. I bet they are saying things like, “So you like to eat oak leaves? I know the perfect cicada for you. She’s wonderful! She’s got the most intense red eyes. You’ve got to meet her. Let me give her a call and introduce you two. Unfortunately she is a little hard of hearing, so this may take a couple of hours...”

Like all great networkers, the cicadas network together to be more effective and create more “buzz” in the community. Did you know that they can reach 120 dB together? Talk about getting your message out there! Having a concise and simple message, sharing it with your networking strategic partners, and then having them share it, can be quite effective.

Did you know that the cicadas form broods (groups), to not only get their message out together and louder, but also to make it more difficult for birds to locate them and make a meal out of them? Their chatter actually makes it harder for birds to communicate and hone in on them. I’ve always thought that networking with a team is a great way to beat the negative chatter that the occasional unscrupulous competitor creates in the community in an attempt to work against you. While you can’t control all of the word-of-mouth messages out there, you can create such a positive buzz about your business through your network, that it becomes the dominate message. 

And what about persistence in networking your message, you may ask? Anyone where I live can tell you—these cicadas are indeed persistent with their networking message, and they repeat it, and repeat it, and repeat it… Once you have found your song, maybe this is a question you have taught your networking strategic partners so they can qualify a great referral for you, be sure to repeatedly get that message out there. I bet it is the lonely cicada that spoke his message only once and expected that to be enough! It takes time and repetition to get your positive message out there. Keep broadcasting your message, once is not enough.

So next time the cicadas are keeping you up at night, remember that they are just enthusiastic teachers—of great networking! Make that very enthusiastic.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
click me