I have over 20 years of experience evaluating leadership programs and leadership networks in the nonprofit sector. My consulting practice supports foundations and nonprofit organizations to effectively invest in collective leadership development, strengthen their networks, and achieve greater impact. I was a founding member of the Leadership Learning Community (LLC) and served as LLC’s Director of Research and Evaluation from 2005-2013. In my role with LLC, I co-wrote several publications on network leadership development, including Leadership and Networks: New Ways of Developing Leadership in a Highly Connected World (2013). I provide network consulting services in the following four areas: (1) network evaluation, (2) network leadership development and coaching, (3) network research, and (4) networks and communications ecosystems.
In my consulting practice I work with clients to strengthen network leadership capacity among individuals who have shared experiences (e.g., leadership cohorts and alumni of leadership programs), shared interests (e.g., field networks), shared geography (e.g., place-based or community networks), or shared agendas (e.g., advocacy networks).. Using both assessment and coaching methods, I support clients to visualize network ecosystems more clearly, and understand patterns of interaction so that they can be more strategic in aligning their resources and actions for greater collective impact.
I have designed and implemented many network evaluations in the fields of health, public health, leadership development, environmental leadership, early education and care, and nonprofit sector leadership, among others. In addition I have collaborated on network evaluation projects designed to strengthen the alignment and influence of coalitions seeking to reform U.S. foreign aid, and a network committed to protecting earth’s biodiversity. I value highly co-creating network assessment and learning projects that build the capacity of networks to more effectively achieve their desired outcomes.
I also have experience designing network communications projects with a particular focus on mapping Twitter networks to better understand the connections and patterns of communication among users who care about related issues and use similar hashtags. For a case example of an SNA project to map public health communications networks and how this knowledge can be used to design a more effective social media campaign, see Applying Social Network Analysis to Online Communication Networks
In 2010, Bruce Hoppe and I co-authored a paper for Leadership Quarterly entitled Social Network Analysis and the Evaluation of Leadership Networks that examined four types of leadership networks and how to understand and measure the difference these networks make. The paper provides an overview of each network’s defining characteristics, value, network metrics, and appropriate evaluation methods.
For a case study of a network evaluation see a 2013 article I co-wrote with colleagues from the Barr Foundation on the Barr Fellowship Network entitled Only Connect: How an Investment in Relationships Among Social Change Leaders Is Changing Them, Their Organizations, and Their City.