By Ryan Galloway
That’s because Ghosn is a member of McKinsey’s corporate alumni network. For the sales and business development teams at the global consulting giant, her membership in that network means a straight path to the chief decision maker at an explosive start-up. But she’s hardly unique: The 27,000 former employees who make up McKinsey’s alumni network include CEOs, start-up founders and thought leaders in a variety of industries around the world. Each is a potential client or resource—or a bridge to one.
Long the darlings of human resources executives, corporate alumni networks are lauded for their ability to generate referral hires and enhance employers’ brands. But for the most part, the value of these networks as a means of generating insights and inroads for organizational development goals of all manner—not just revenue but strategic partnerships, industry expertise, advisory services—has gone overlooked. That’s a shame, considering that companies today lose almost two percent of their employees to voluntary turnover every month (not to mention, those lost to layoffs or terminations). Indeed, the average professional changes jobs every four years. (Young ones jump ship even more frequently.)
As a result, businesses large and small have a constant stream of employees filtering in and out of their organizations. Some, like Ghosn, will launch their own businesses. Most will land at other companies. Allare potential assets to their previous employers. Which is why alumni relations should earn a formal place in the relationship capital toolbox of every organization—and an informal one for every individual in the business/revenue/organizational development space.
By providing a smart and relatively inexpensive way for companies to stay in touch with those who have moved on, a well-managed alumni program will leverage today’s high-turnover culture to create hundreds or even thousands of meaningful connections. Every firm should review its own policies in regards to “separating” and “keeping in touch” with their exes. From RIF packages to exit interviews to alumni networks, there are a raft of touch points with former colleagues/future business builders to be exploited. Don’t break up badly.
Interested in starting an alumni relations program? RelSci can help your organization see into its alumni network and stay up-to-date on their next ventures. Learn more about the relationship capital platform.