We could all use a little support, especially these days. At Collective Mind, we believe that we can best support network leaders and managers by providing them with evidence-based training and materials, and spaces in which they can connect and learn from one another. As the founder, my own personal experience of being a network manager was realizing early on that I didn’t understand the unique network environment and didn’t know how to do my job effectively. It sent me on a learning journey that started more than a decade ago and that now manifests in Collective Mind’s support to network leaders and managers. When network practitioners have the skills, tools, and approaches they need, they not only do their jobs well, they also make their networks more effective and impactful.
Collective Mind Academy is our latest professional development offering in the style of a semester-focused course. We’ll cover five critical topics over 10 weeks:
- Establishing your network’s shared purpose
Shared purpose is the visionary goal around which strategies are defined, people are mobilized, and activities are established and harmonized. We’ll consider how to set the scope of a network’s shared purpose, how it influences your membership, how to translate it into strategies, and more.
- Developing your network’s membership model
Along with shared purpose, membership is a foundational capacity of networks. We’ll consider the multiple components of your membership model including who your members are, the nature and size of your network’s membership, and criteria for membership as well as how to think about engagement, inclusion, and equity.
- Designing your network’s infrastructure
Network infrastructure is the structural design and components of a network, including externally visible structures and processes, that support collective action by members. We’ll consider how to structure your network to ensure key functions and roles including governance, management, and production of outputs and outcomes towards your network’s shared purpose.
- Building your network’s culture
Network culture is the network’s operating philosophy including the shared values, norms, attitudes, and practices of both individuals and groups. While often intangible, the network’s culture maintains the shared purpose and ensures ongoing collaboration. We’ll consider how to manage the range of dynamics that arise in a network (conflict, accountability, etc.) and how to foster effective collaboration.
- Embodying a network mindset
A network mindset recognizes, understands, and responds to the complexity of a network as well as appreciates the differences between a network and a traditional organization. A network mindset understands that we work through a network because the goal or challenge that we seek to address requires a complex set of stakeholders acting together. We’ll consider how to foster a network mindset within and across your network and how to embody it yourself.
Each topic will be covered during a two-week module through evidence-based readings, worksheets to reflect on your work, additional readings to reference as desired, and office hour sessions to access the expertise of both Collective Mind and your peers.
You can complete the course on the schedule and with the structure that is right for you. You can join the full Academy or pick and choose the modules most important to you. You can follow along with the course as we go, joining live office hour sessions, or you can review each topic on your own time accessing the materials and session recordings.
Whether you’re new to networks or a seasoned professional looking for new ideas and strategies, you will find the resources you need. For more details and to register, check out our website. We hope to see you there!
Collective Mind seeks to build the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of networks and the people who work for and with them. We believe that the way to solve the world’s most complex problems is through collective action – and that networks, in the ways that they organize people and organizations around a shared purpose, are the fit-for-purpose organizational model to harness resources, views, strengths, and assets to achieve that shared purpose.