Working in Networks

Networks are ubiquitous and research into the operation and structure of networks is exploding. In this domain of the website you will find resources that explore the dynamics and architecture of networks, the works of key network scholars, and insights into a wide variety of networks – from schools to insect colonies, the internet, and business organizations. You will also find examples of how network insights are being used to help create healthier communities and foster innovation.

June Holley, Valdis Krebs, and Jack Ricchiuto I have seen countless networks grow over the past 30 years. It’s interesting to see networks grow from weaker to stronger. They go through four stages in the process. Here is a model based on the phases of human development. When we bring people together in their networks, we see all four stages within various connections in the network. Best of all, unlike human development where phases cannot be skipped, effective network development can involve immediate acceleration to an emerging and scaling network of adult connections. Network weavers help people move into the adult phase more quickly and successfully, accelerating the possibilities of more strong networks.

The 4 Developmental Stages of Networks

Infancy
People in the network feel dependent on formal leaders to make things happen in the network. Their whole life is structured around demands that parent leaders take care of all their needs. Their whole thrivancy is based on the trade of compliance for protection.

Childhood
People in the network are interested in making things happen, but only things that require permissions and funding from the parental formal leaders. They are focused in this phase of getting more support from parent-leaders for the things they want to do. They live in continuous demand from a position of entitlement.

Adolescence
People in the network give up dependency on their parent-leaders, but still believe the “pie of resources” is still finite and so compete with peers to satisfy their needs. In this phase, people in the network believe that others’ loss is the necessary cost of their gain.

Adulthood
People in the network take responsibility for their destinies and know that working together expands the pie in ways that allows everyone to thrive. They believe that people in the network can achieve more together than they ever could apart or in opposition.

We have selected the following resources to begin your exploration of working in Networks:

Learn more about social networks at NetworkWeavers.

Building Smart Communities Through Network Weaving (pdf) – Valdis Krebs and June Holley, 2006

Smart Networks Presentation (pdf) – June Holley, 2009

Network Weaver Checklist (pdf) – June Holley, 2008

Map Drawing Activity (Smart Network Weaving) (pdf) – June Holley

Ancient Practice of Chinese Social Networking (pdf) – Scott Hammond and Lowell Glenn, 2004