This post shares
- my own definition of a network approach,
- the organizational and cultural shifts that make it successful and more accessible today than it was a generation ago, and
- bonus benefits of using a network approach.
I want to thank the many people who have informed my thinking and offered different ways to convey this. First, Beth Tener (whose images I’ve borrowed from this great webinar), and this excellent presentation from the Children and Nature Network, many of my colleagues in the Twin Cities, and June Holley.
Defining a network approach
A network approach intentionally builds effective relationships around a shared vision to accomplish goals or build a movement. It’s a way of working, a set tools that help people work together as peers, to go further faster. It’s decentralized, and people work together as peers. Relationships, understanding one another’s interests, and shared goals motivate action and accountability.
Respectful relationships are a must. Conflict is a reality in all realationships, and respect plus open communiation can leverage healthy conflict for good in networks.
Transparency rules. People must have access to information about activities, participants, and learning.