For the last nine months, I’ve been exploring a new way of thinking about what I do. That’s when I went to a workshop on Newtork Weaving, an introduction session to the concept. I immediately saw ways it could support my work with the Alliance for Healthy Homes and Communities (through Minnesota Green Communities), as well as with the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition.
The basic concept is that by
- effectively engaging networks of people who
- share one or more common goals and
- all bring different resources and skills
you can accomplish more, but do less. There’s more detail on how to do that, of course. It includes creating the right sort of common culture, comfort with a lack of centralized control, recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of people and working with them, and filing in gaps in the network.
Based in social network theory, June Holley has put together a set of writings, tools, activities, and worksheets to turn that theory into something easily used by people who want to do specific things.
I participated in a 5 month intensive practicum on network consulting led by June Holley and Kristin Johnstad, and will be posting more about how I’m translating that learning into action. I’ve signed up for the Network Weaver consultant team, too. I’m primarily focused on engaging stakeholders, and am using micro-grants, mapping, and specific activities you can weave into regular meetings to build a network-weaving-friendly culture.
In the mean time, you can learn a bit more by watching this video.