Having network maps is a wonderful thing – but not if you can’t read what they are saying! This free resource offers some basic strategies for interpreting network maps.
Network maps can have a transformative effect when as many network participants as possible are involved in interpreting the maps and then developing strategies to more effectively weave the network. So it’s important to share these slides with your network and then have activities where network participants can use them on the network’s maps.
I suggest that you talk about each slide, then have people in small groups see if that feature exists in their network map. If it does, they can generate ways to correct the network. For example, if the map shows that people from grassroots organizations are all on the periphery of the map, while larger non-profits are in the core, then the small groups can generate actions to connect people from grassroots groups with people in the core. It’s best if individuals make commitments to make these connections. At your next network meeting, you can have then add the new connections to a blown up network map that you post on the wall.