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Healthy network diagnostic
Healthy network diagnostic
Healthy network diagnostic
Healthy network diagnostic
Healthy network diagnostic
Healthy network diagnostic
Healthy network diagnostic
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Healthy network diagnostic

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  • 1. OVERVIEW This is a tool for assessing the health of your network, and exploring actions to take to develop or strengthen it. This tool is intended for use by individuals working within or through social change networks. Instructions: 1. Begin by identifying your network as either: 1. BOUNDED: a network with clear boundaries. The participants are known. 1. UNBOUNDED: a network with fuzzy boundaries. The participants are not all known. 2. Rate your network (high, medium, low) against attributes within eight areas of network health 3. Step back and jot down notes on your network’s performance in each area of health. Note whether or not this is a priority area for strengthening. Depending on where your network is at in its lifecycle, different attributes may be at different levels of priority 4. Elicit multiple perspectives on your network’s health. Ask leaders from across your network to take the diagnostic. Compare and aggregate results 5. Next, link your priority areas with actions for strengthening networks. The actions are by no means prescriptive and do not correlate directly to the attributes within each area of network health. They are meant to spur your thinking about the range of specific steps you might take to strengthen your network Sources: This tool was created with inputs from multiple sources – most significantly research done by Monitor Institute for Packard Foundation grantees in 2008-09, and the work of the following network experts: Beth Kanter, June Holley, Marty Kearns, Pete Plastrik and Madeleine Taylor, Clay Shirky, and Jane Wei-Skillern. Created by the Monitor Institute, www.monitorinstitute.com Please direct queries about this tool to Diana_Scearce@monitor.com This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
  • 2. 1 Notes on Overall Characteristic Desired Attributes HIGH MED LOW Performance Potential Actions to Strengthen the Network Clearly articulated give and get for • Engage network participants in framing network purpose and goals participants • Clearly articulate value the network aspires to deliver to participants • Regularly test the network value with participants and refine / update as Delivers value/outcomes to participants needed • Ensure that the network is accountable to the community it seeks to serve Value Network value propositions are aligned and evolve with participant demand Participation includes the necessary diversity • Map the network --to determine who is in the network and how connected knowledge, skills and capacity to achieve they are, and identify new participants and strategies for engaging them purpose • Determine network boundaries – who is in and who is out. Determine how porous these boundaries should be New participants can quickly become • Welcome and orient new participants, develop a standard process for productive within the network doing so • Hire a network weaver to bring the right participants into the mix and increase connectivity throughout the network High voluntary engagement in the network Participation • Create workspaces that invite community building and participation— online and in-person Participants have a formal or informal code • Identify ‘open triangles’ and close them – identify two people who you of conduct and high level of trust with one know and who would benefit from knowing each other and introduce another them • Encourage small collaborative projects among just two or three network Participants regularly interact and participants collaborate with one another without going • Codify a code of conduct, share it broadly, and live by it through a central hub Network has a concept of its structure, how it • Map the network in order to visualize structure, diagnose strengths and suits its purpose, and how it might evolve weaknesses, and identify strategies for growing the network (e.g. from hub and spoke to multi-hub • Facilitate an open strategic conversation that encourages participation structure) from across the network; solicit the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ • Grow the number of people on the periphery of the network and create Balance of top-down and bottom-up opportunities for their fresh ideas to flow into the network Form strategies for doing the work of the network • Create an innovation fund – a dedicated resource for cutting edge work that creates a mandate for risk-taking Network spaces invite self-organized action
  • 3. 2 Notes on Overall Characteristic Desired Attributes HIGH MED LOW Performance Potential Actions to Strengthen the Network Leaders inspire and help participants • Identify individuals with strong group process skills and aptitude for IT- recognize and work towards common goals enabled collaboration to take on more responsibility • Develop a system for diversifying and refreshing leadership Leaders seek out opportunities to highlight • Get out of the way – target opportunities for network participants to and bridge difference in service of network connect and collaborate directly goals • Bridge difference. Connect people and ideas that normally don’t go Leadership together Leadership is shared. Responsibility and control is spread throughout the network Leadership is refreshed and renewed to reflect the network as it evolves Governance is reflective of diverse • Formalize governance system with an eye to identifying opportunities to constituencies in the network and share decision-making power transparent • Create mechanisms for voices from the periphery to influence decision- making Governance is formalized in a group, committee or board (not a single person) Governance Governing body rotates its members over time Network is resilient. If some highly connected • Align communication tools with what members are comfortable using or participants leave, the network remains can be trained to use. Don’t assume the network should adopt the latest strong advances • Follow the 1/10/100 rule :1% create content, 10% comment on it, and 100% view content Ample shared space, online and in-person, allowing participants to easily connect • Allocate time and budget for designing, facilitating and maintaining online network communications Connection • Look to young people to guide your use of social media Network use of social media tools and strategies are appropriate given participant • Design shared spaces –online forums and in-person common spaces that skills and habits encourage interactions • Seek out lower cost opportunities for connecting network participants in- Network use of social media tools and person – e.g. host a reception at a commonly attended conference strategies are a good fit for types of interactions needed to meet the purpose
  • 4. 3 Notes on Overall Characteristic Desired Attributes HIGH MED LOW Performance Potential Actions to Strengthen the Network Participants know where resources are in the • Create systems to help participants find and share relevant expertise network—knowledge , skills, and capacity • Broadcast basic needs to the network and tap excess capacity to fill them • Surface the talent in the network. Don’t assume external expertise needs Network can identify and prioritize filling to be brought in to address network needs knowledge, skills and capacity gaps Capacity Effective model for financial sustainability in place Network gathers feedback, and captures • Create mechanisms for regular gathering of feedback from network learning as stories participants • Invite key network participants to develop a shared set of metrics Network has an agreed upon desired impact • Create a network map that will serve as a baseline measurement. Map the and a common set of metrics to measure that network again in 1-2 years, or once there has been enough time for change impact in the network. Compare the two maps to assess change in the system Learning & • Create a mechanism – with dedicated resources – for ongoing capture of Adaptation learning and stories throughout the network Network regularly measures, evaluates, and reflects on its impact to refine its goals and activities
  • 5. 1 Notes on Overall Characteristic Desired Attributes HIGH MED LOW Performance Potential Actions to Strengthen the Network Clearly articulated give and get for • Engage network participants in framing network purpose and goals participants • Clearly articulate value the network aspires to deliver to participants • Regularly test the network value with participants and refine / update as Delivers value/outcomes to participants needed • Ensure that the network is accountable to the community it seeks to serve Value Network value propositions are aligned and evolve with participant demand Participation includes the necessary diversity • Map the network --to determine who is in the network and how connected knowledge, skills and capacity to achieve they are, and identify new members and strategies for engaging them purpose • Determine network boundaries – who is in and who is out. Determine how porous these boundaries should be High voluntary engagement in the network • Welcome and orient new participants; develop a standard process for by participants doing so • Hire a network weaver to bring the right participants into the mix and increase connectivity throughout the network Participation High voluntary engagement in the network • Create workspaces that invite community building and participation— online and in-person Participants have a formal or informal code • Identify ‘open triangles’ and close them – identify two people who you of conduct and trust one another know and who would benefit from knowing each other and introduce them Participants regularly interact and • Encourage small collaborative projects among just two or three network collaborate with one another without going participants through a central hub • Codify a code of conduct, share it broadly, and live by it Network has a concept of its structure, how it • Map the network in order to visualize structure, diagnose strengths and suits its purpose, and how it might evolve weaknesses, and identify strategies for growing the network • Facilitate an open strategic conversation that encourages participation from across the network; solicit the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ Balance of top-down and bottom-up strategies for doing the work of the network • Grow the number of people on the periphery of the network and create Form opportunities for their fresh ideas to flow into the network • Create an innovation fund – a dedicated resource for cutting edge work Network spaces invite self-organized action that creates a mandate for risk-taking
  • 6. 2 Notes on Overall Characteristic Desired Attributes HIGH MED LOW Performance Potential Actions to Strengthen the Network Leaders inspire and help participants • Identify individuals with strong group process skills and aptitude for IT- recognize and work towards common goals enabled collaboration to take on more responsibility • Develop a system for diversifying and refreshing leadership Leaders seek out opportunities to highlight • Get out of the way – target opportunities for network participants to and bridge difference in service of network connect and collaborate directly goals • Bridge difference. Connect people and ideas that normally don’t go Leadership together Leadership is shared. Responsibility and control are pushed out to the network Leadership is refreshed and renewed to reflect the network as it evolves Governance is reflective of diverse • Formalize governance system with an eye to identifying opportunities to constituencies within the network and share decision-making power transparent • Create mechanisms for voices from the periphery to influence decision- making Governance Network is resilient. Connectivity is strong • Align communication tools with what participants are comfortable using or enough throughout that if some highly can be trained to use. Don’t assume the network should adopt the latest connected participants leave, the network advances remains strong • Follow the 1/10/100 rule :1% create content, 10% comment on it, and 100% view content Ample well-designed space, online and/or in- • Allocate time and budget for designing, facilitating and maintaining online person, allowing participants to easily network communications Connection connect • Look to young people to guide your use of social media • Design shared spaces –online forums and in-person common spaces that Network use of social media supports encourage interactions objectives in external communications plan • Seek out lower cost opportunities for connecting network participants in- person – e.g. host a reception at a commonly attended conference Network use of social media is embraced and understood by network leaders and participants
  • 7. 3 Notes on Overall Characteristic Desired Attributes HIGH MED LOW Performance Potential Actions to Strengthen the Network Network can identify and prioritize filling • Create systems to help participants find and share relevant expertise knowledge, skills and capacity gaps • Broadcast basic needs to the network and tap excess capacity to fill them • Surface the talent in the network. Don’t assume external expertise needs Effective model for financial sustainability in to be brought in to address network needs place Capacity Network gathers feedback, and captures • Create mechanisms for regular gathering of feedback from network learning as stories participants • Invite key network participants to develop a shared set of metrics Network has a clearly articulated desired • Create a network map that will serve as a baseline measurement. Map the impact and a set of metrics to measure that network again in 1-2 years, or once there has been enough time for change impact in the network. Compare the two maps to assess change in the system Learning & • Create a mechanism – with dedicated resources – for ongoing capture of Adaptation learning and stories throughout the network Network regularly measures, evaluates, and reflects on its impact to refine its goals and activities

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