Collective Mind Workshop Series

Networks and Network Management Skills

Collective Mind is launching a new series of workshops to help you strengthen your network and improve your network practice

We hear from network practitioners every day that they need support to better understand, analyze, design, and enhance the components of their networks. They seek targeted training to deepen their understanding of how to operate effectively in a network environment. And they want to expand and hone their skills to lead and manage their networks. 

Developed using our evidence-based conceptual models for understanding networks and network management, our new workshops are here to help. 

Our new workshops

Collective Mind is rolling out six new trainings on the most critical components of networks and network management:

  • Shared Purpose
  • Membership
  • Facilitation
  • Coordination
  • Network Leadership (in two parts)

New workshops will be launched each month starting in February 2021. The two workshops available each month complement each other and are recommended to be taken in tandem.

February workshops:

Shared Purpose, Membership

Shared Purpose and Membership are the two core network capacities of the seven capacities identified in Collective Mind’s network diagnostic framework. Shared Purpose is the visionary goal around which strategies are defined, people are mobilized, and activities are established and harmonized. Membership is the people and organizations that belong to the network in order to contribute to the shared purpose. Shared Purpose and Membership are the defining features of any network and link inextricably to one another. Shared Purpose is why members show up and contribute to the network. Who members are and how they’re engaged sets the bounds of how the Shared Purpose can be achieved and how it is continually refreshed. Getting Shared Purpose and Membership right is both fundamental for any network and constantly evolving in practice. These workshops will help you clarify and enhance how your network approaches these foundational components of all networks.

March workshops:

Facilitation, Coordination

Facilitation and Coordination are the two fundamental approaches required for effective network management. Collective Mind defines network management as facilitation, coordination, and administration. Facilitation is the act of engaging participants in a process to understand their objectives, plan how to achieve those objectives, and work together to do so. Coordination is the act of helping all those involved in a plan or activity work together in an organized fashion, harmonizing and aligning actions to synchronize efforts towards a common goal. How network managers and practitioners approach their work and the skills they employ directly influences their networks’ effectiveness and impact. Managing within the complexity that networks embody and the emergence that they foster requires facilitating members through processes such as ideation, goal-setting, and consensus building and coordinating them to design and implement joint tasks and activities. These workshops will help you expand your approaches and hone your skills for managing your network.

April workshops:

Network Leadership, Parts 1 and 2

Network Leadership, another network capacity, necessitates both clear roles and responsibilities (part 1) and appropriate skills and approaches (part 2) to lead effectively in a network environment. Leadership is the function of guiding, directing, and facilitating the network and its members. Effective network leadership requires understanding the leadership roles and functions of different stakeholders within the network, from staff to the governing body to members, and clarity in both principle and practice about how those stakeholders will take on those roles both formally and informally. Similarly, network leadership requires non-traditional approaches in an operating environment wherein traditional hierarchical and directive approaches aren’t appropriate and often against network effectiveness. Network leaders in all roles must ensure a network mindset, manage conflict, and foster accountability, among other skills. These workshops will articulate appropriate approaches for network leadership both structurally and in practice and deepen your skills as a network leader.

What will you achieve?  

Our workshops will share evidence-based approaches to each topic grounded in extensive research and practice. Participants will clarify content in conversation with our expert moderators and discuss their own challenges and experiences in breakout sessions with network practitioner peers. A worksheet and additional reference materials will enable further reflection and application after the workshop.

Each interactive workshop will:

  • Provide you with a framework and approach for thinking about the topic in order to improve your network and strengthen your network practice
  • Create a space for learning, reflecting, and applying new ideas moderated by Collective Mind’s team of experts
  • Introduce you to new peers amongst other practitioners in the network management space
  • Deepen your understanding both through the workshop itself and the additional materials — readings and reference materials as well as a worksheet — that will be provided

Interested in joining with your colleagues or team? We can also organize a private session just for you. Contact Kerstin at for more information.

Who should sign up?

Our workshops are designed for those working with and for networks who want to deepen their understanding of networks and bring new approaches to bear to improve their practice and increase the effectiveness and impact of their network. This can include colleagues working in formal network roles, such as staff or members of a governing body, network members, or those who support networks such as funders.

No prior knowledge or training is required for the workshops. In advance of the Shared Purpose, Membership, and Leadership workshops, we suggest that participants join our regular Networks 101 and/or review our blog on network capacities. In advance of the Facilitation and Coordination workshops, we suggest that participants join our regular Network Management 101 and/or review our blog on network management.

How much does it cost?

Each workshop is $100 US per person or bundle workshops for a discounted rate:

  • Shared Purpose + Membership = $150 US per person
  • Facilitation + Coordination = $150 US per person
  • Networks Leadership 1 + 2 = $150 US per person

When can I join?

We’re offering the workshops at multiple times to accommodate global time zones. Double-check the time zones to make sure you sign up for the best times for you!

See all dates and times for scheduled Shared Purpose and Membership workshops here

Schedules for the Facilitation, Coordination, and Network Leadership workshops will be released soon! Sign up for our newsletter for updates and announcements.