Network Building - for Professional Development, Collaboration and Problem Solving

 

Networks enable people and organizations to share knowledge, to learn from their combined expertise and experience, and to collaborate on projects. 

  • Peer networks create a space for skill building and professional development.  
  • Innovative companies create informal learning networks with employees from several departments or several locations in order to bring a diversity of perspectives to problem-solving.  That diversity encourages out-of-the-box thinking and innovation.
  • Cross-organizational networks foster collaboration to solve a problem which no one organization can solve on its own. 

 

The purposes of networks varies; the following are examples of networks that Abby developed and/or facilitated.

 

Professional development

Boston Facilitators Roundtable

A learning network of management consultants, executive coaches and facilitators and trainers who learn new tools for leadership and organizational development.  Outcome:  Enhanced skills, access to a large pool of expertise, advice on client engagements and collaborations on client work. 

 

Alliance of Non-profit Management, Affinity Group for Coaches. A learning network for coaches to further develop their coaching skills to work with non-profit directors. 

Collaboration 

Mass. Tobacco Control Program

People from multiple organizations shared information about their communities:  characteristics of affected populations, facilitators and barriers to change, and communication channels. Outcome:  A foundation for a statewide strategic plan, including social marketing and unified advocacy for public policy on tobacco control.

 

Dept. of Public Health - Nutrition and Physical Activity Program

Multiple stakeholders defined their shared goals.  Outcome:  Identification of areas of collaboration to increase physical activity in the schools, in neighborhoods and programs at the workplace.  Recommendations for urban planners on the design of parks, streets and centers for physical activity; recommendations on public education about nutrition and physical activity.

Policy Recommendations   

National Council of Crime and Detention

Researchers and subject-matter experts worked to integrate a gender-responsive approach and an evidence-based approach to the treatment of young women in detention.  Outcome:  Recommendations to the National Girls Institute to increase funding and research on young women in detention, and to broaden the scope of what is considered "evidence".

Solving business problems

National Institute of Corrections

A group of corrections officials, federal government, academics and change advisors identified best practices relating to organizational culture change.  Outcome: A clear assessment protocol, identification of best practices to deal with frequent problems; a field manual to create High-Performing Corrections Organizations.

 

Massaschusetts Service Alliance

A group of Executive Directors and consultants worked on challenges facing the non-profit organizations.  Outcome:  Identification and application of best practices to solve issues such as growth management and strategy development.  The directors reported achieving clarity that enabled them to make strategic decisions, such as a strategic alliance between two participating organizations. 

Building Leadership Skills

A Manufacturing facility/ worker cooperative

A group of staff leaders wanted to create an internal peer network to learn business and leadership skills from each other and from other workers coops.  Outcome:  They decided to schedule periodic Workplace Exchanges with other coops, and to convene a monthly Open Space/ Knowledge Exchange session for employees.

 

 Call Abby when you're ready to create a dynamic peer network, a networking capacity within your organization, or a network of collaborating organizations. 617-625-0211

Email Abby