Networks matter for so many reasons
We often think of networks around networking in the workplace. However, networks appear so many more places than in work.
They are also present in communities and can have the power to change the world! One definition of a network is:
"A group or system of interconnected people or things" Intentionally building effective relationships towards a shared goal or to build a movement."
Networks are the interconnectedness of how we connect and relate to each other and why we choose to do that. Networking involves a sense of "intention"
There are many types of intention, but considering networks, consider why we may join a network. Reflect does this support a purpose that matters to me.
Networks can offer inspiration and keep us going when we don't feel as motivated as we would like. We can often go further than we ever could alone when working with others.
"If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together."African Proverb
Hilda from COPEScotland was fortunate to attend a Network Weaving learning series as part of the Q Community and following this connected with people who had participated in the learning as well as others interested in networking.
Together they created the Mind Map we share below around skills and structures which support may help networking.
Many of us network all the time. When we went into lockdown, the local people and services in Drumchapel immediately used their community networks to put in place pathways to help people who needed extra support during the lockdown.
However, sometimes we feel we are not part of a network, either at work or in our personal life, or what we are part of, we are not sure if it is helping us achieve our purpose.
In the coming months, we are working with partners, including June Holley, who wrote the initial Network Weavers Handbook, available from the site share above, to build on that and to adapt the handbook putting it into context for people here in Scotland and beyond, including learning and sharing examples of great networking already happening in Scotland.
COPEScotland has always been concerned for the well-being of others. We know we can never offer every individual who may need support service.
We were never about growing an empire but an idea.
Our focus moving forwards is around wider population-based work and looking at "How do people connect to create their own personal networks".
This may be for social purposes; it may also support well-being.
The following Map is not the endpoint. It is only the beginning.
We share it now to invite people who are curious to get in touch or if they want to learn more.
We were delighted to work with The Health and Social care Alliance (The ALLIANCE) and Kristin Johnstad Network Weaver to present at their Digital Gathering on "Network Weaving as a catalyst for change".
"Networking is a lot like nutrition and fitness: we know what to do, the hard part is making it a top priority"Herminia Ibarra