What network stage is your community? based on    Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving  by Valdis Krebs and ...
Communities can be viewed as networks <ul><ul><li>Any collection of people can be seen as a network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
Communities evolve in predictable ways Fragments Single-Hub Multi-Hub Core/Periphery Communities often evolve along predic...
Stage One:  Fragments <ul><li>What it looks like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small ...
Stage One:  Fragments <ul><ul><li>Key Goal: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To make a case to foster a networked community vers...
Stage Two:  Single Hub-and-Spoke <ul><li>What it looks like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
Stage Two:  Single Hub-and-Spoke <ul><ul><li>Key Goal: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect people to allow easy flow of and...
Stage Three:  Multi-Hub <ul><li>What it looks like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mult...
<ul><ul><li>Key Goal: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start aligning people to develop and spread and identify the collective v...
<ul><li>What it looks like: </li></ul>Stage Four:  Core/Periphery <ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...
<ul><ul><li>Key Goal: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster joint action for specialized outcomes by aligned people </li></ul>...
Resources <ul><ul><li>For more information on understanding networked communities go to: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Building S...
A few words about WiserEarth <ul><li>WiserEarth helps the global movement of people and organizations working toward socia...
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What network stage is your community?

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We've written before about how you can view your community as a network. Here we use the 'network lense' to show how communities typically evolve and what specific actions you might want to take to get to the next level.

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What network stage is your community?

  1. 1. What network stage is your community? based on Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving by Valdis Krebs and June Holley September 2009
  2. 2. Communities can be viewed as networks <ul><ul><li>Any collection of people can be seen as a network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That network is made up of people, who know each other, and interact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The more connections and interactions between people the greater that community’s productivity, cohesiveness, and resilience. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities as networks typically evolve and devolve in predictable ways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Looking at your community as an evolving network can give you ideas for how to make improvements </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Communities evolve in predictable ways Fragments Single-Hub Multi-Hub Core/Periphery Communities often evolve along predictable pathways from fragmented clusters of people interested in a concept, to a single hub-and-spoke when a leader pulls the clusters together, to multiple hubs where a variety of people take responsibility, and finally to a core/periphery with a tight ball of members surrounded by interested hangers on. So what does each stage look like and how can you improve your community?
  4. 4. Stage One: Fragments <ul><li>What it looks like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small – clusters of 1-5 people or organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Isolated – no connections between clusters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared interests and goals poorly articulated </li></ul></ul>Source: Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving by Valdis Krebs and June Holley
  5. 5. Stage One: Fragments <ul><ul><li>Key Goal: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To make a case to foster a networked community versus another approach (Note: some goals simply don’t require / benefit from network structures) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What to do: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify what about networks makes this structure a good idea (e.g. rapid growth, rapid diffusion, ‘small world’ reach, resilience, adaptive capacity) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify prospective value of a network for those to join it – is it access to connections, knowledge, competencies, or resources etc? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Draw up criteria to identify initial network members – such as commitment, expertise, competence, connections, collaborative capacity, good citizenship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actively weave clusters by identifying fragments and finding an active leader to make the connections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What tools to use: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Run surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews / Focus groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct a search for key documents created by people in these fragments to source ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hire a network weaver(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct Social Network Mapping (also called Social Network Analysis) to identify the clusters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What to watch for: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Little or no information flow between clusters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Little or no collaboration between clusters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlikely connections between clusters to happen spontaneously </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Stage Two: Single Hub-and-Spoke <ul><li>What it looks like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single hub (a community leader) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clusters are connected into a networked community for the first time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally temporary – either fails or quickly transforms into next stage </li></ul></ul>Source: Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving by Valdis Krebs and June Holley
  7. 7. Stage Two: Single Hub-and-Spoke <ul><ul><li>Key Goal: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect people to allow easy flow of and access to information and transactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What to do: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridge the divides - connect individuals and clusters that have common goals/interests or complementary skills/experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and mentor natural weavers in the community to take over network building and maintenance tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test prospective value proposition for the network and capture emerging articulations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What tools to use: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a directory of members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create an information clearing houses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set-up Email listserves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop newsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct SNA to reveal progress and identify emerging network weavers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct training in network building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What to watch for: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A weak network as everything is dependent on a single hub (the leader) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concentration of power in the leader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information bottlenecks at the hub </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of questions! </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Stage Three: Multi-Hub <ul><li>What it looks like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple-hubs (besides the initial leader) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New network leaders emerging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weak ties between clusters emerge and are important for fostering innovation as new ideas are discovered outside local groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key hubs start to work on what goals and objectives should be for the network and how to achieve them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consensus on network value proposition(s) emerging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governance of the network starts to be on the agenda </li></ul></ul>Source: Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving by Valdis Krebs and June Holley
  9. 9. <ul><ul><li>Key Goal: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start aligning people to develop and spread and identify the collective value proposition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What to do: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus and define the network value proposition - look for what all people can do for each other, not just what’s in it for you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect hubs to one another as it shortens path length of information flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turn weak ties between people in each hub into strong ties – build trust through increase bandwidth and reciprocity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start building the edge – seek out groups that are both similar and different, as similarity builds trust and diversity introduces new ideas and perspectives </li></ul></ul>Stage Three: Multi-Hub <ul><ul><li>What tools to use: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct face to face meetings – important to build trust and help articulate identity and value of network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use facilitated meetings – to reduce conflict and increase engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct SNA to review the structure of your network and evaluate progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch out for: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hubs may battle over turf and control and remain isolated from one another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Major hubs can fail weakening the overall network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governance structure/membership and source of funding do not necessarily equate - recognize ‘distributed authority’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just like in a traditional organizations, governance and management are not the same for networks </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>What it looks like: </li></ul>Stage Four: Core/Periphery <ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emerges after numerous years of work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stable structure linked to other well-developed networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Core contains key community members with strong ties to one another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Periphery includes new members, bridges to diverse communities, unique resources that operate outside of the community </li></ul></ul>Source: Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving by Valdis Krebs and June Holley
  11. 11. <ul><ul><li>Key Goal: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster joint action for specialized outcomes by aligned people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What to do: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look beyond information sharing and towards joint production of value – what are the ‘win-win’ opportunities? Could include: goods and services, policy advocacy, innovation, learning, building capacity, mobilizing citizens etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assess competencies of the network members – are the right people in the mix to get the job done, do we need others to join us? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish production and management plans – reach an agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure the network form follows the network function – there is no single best structure, only the one that serves your purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep maintaining your network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build bridges to other networks </li></ul></ul>Stage Four: Core/Periphery <ul><ul><li>What tools to use: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make Production Agreements – i.e. who does what by when and how </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Codify governance (when appropriate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct SNA to monitor your network </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What to watch for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overly dense cores can lead to rigidity and overload of activity </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Resources <ul><ul><li>For more information on understanding networked communities go to: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Building Smart Communities Through Network Weaving An introduction to the basics on networks, how they evolve, and how they can be shaped for social impact—illustrated through a case study. (By Valdis Krebs and June Holley in 2006.) </li></ul><ul><li>Net Gains: A Handbook for Network Builders Seeking Social Change A handbook covering the basics on networks –including their common attributes, how to leverage networks for social impact, evaluating networks, and social network analysis. (By Peter Plastrik and Madeleine Taylor in 2006.) </li></ul><ul><li>Boston Green and Healthy Buildings Network A case study describing a Barr Foundation sponsored endeavor to weave a network among 10 Boston nonprofits, highlighting the challenges and lessons learned. (By Beth Tener, Al Nierenberg, and Bruce Hoppe in 2008.) </li></ul><ul><li>The Networked Nonprofit An article about how nonprofit leaders are achieving greater impact by working through networks. Includes detailed examples. (By Jane Wei-Skillern and Sonia Marciano in 2008.) </li></ul>
  13. 13. A few words about WiserEarth <ul><li>WiserEarth helps the global movement of people and organizations working toward social justice, indigenous rights, and environmental stewardship connect, collaborate, share knowledge, and build alliances. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>All tools and content are free to use. The site is commercial-free too. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Here you will find: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The WiserEarth Directory The world's largest free and editable international directory of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and socially responsible organizations (110,000 in 243 countries, territories, and sovereign islands). </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>WiserEarth Groups Online community forums where members can engage in discussion, post and share resources, and collaborate on projects. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>WiserEarth Community A vibrant community of over 27,000 members making connections, sharing resources, solutions, jobs, and events. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>WiserEarth Taxonomy The world's most detailed classification of issue areas related to social justice and environmental restoration. </li></ul>

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