I’ve been thinking a lot lately about applying the “network mindset” to one’s works, whether that be philanthropy or nonprofits. There are two different frames — you can use a networked mindset to increase your personal productivity or think of it in organizational strategy terms.
There is also a field of practice and thought leaders who apply network thinking in a business context. I noticed that Jenny Ambrozek, someone who thinks deeply about networks in a business context, re-tweeted one of my musings on network leadership skill sets. She pointed me to her fabulous deck and wiki on the topic. Going through her wiki connected me back to the thought leaders in this area, like Patti Anklam.
Jenny outlines ten principles of network thinking and acting. She begins with the basic assumption: When we apply a network mindset to our work, we affirm that value is created through our interactions, relationships build social capital, and that relationships are capital.
Her ten principles are:
1. Organizations function as complex networks complext network webs
2. Work gets done through individual networks
3. Knowledge is created through individual interactions
4. Patterns of participation impact knowledge flow
5. Social network analysis can reveal knowledge flows and roles
6. Use network maps to visualize the network and make connections
7. Network analysis provides a new measurement tool
8. Knowledge in the networking (and relationship building). Innovation is the result of the network in action.
9. Technologies shape the work
10. Balance of intention and control is needed in support of a business strategy.
Could a network mindset move the work of your organization forward? How could it improve the personal productivity of your staff?