How can we help?
We help sectors, organisations, groups, and individuals to:
- Create, animate and sustain Structured Networks, as the way to tackle organisational priorities for which traditional organisational structures are not suitable
- Redesign existing organisational structures by adopting a Structured Network model
- Transform working groups - 'old-style' committees, groups and teams - into effective Networks
- Acquire and embed critical skills through Personal Networking Capability Training
These services are discrete and stand-alone, but most powerful when they are integrated. For example, people may be effective Networkers but lack the structure needed to exploit its benefits; and a well-designed Network will fail if its members lack critical capabilities.
Our Networking case study describes an integrated programme of support provided for one company. Further case studies highlight our expertise and experience in this area.
Building, Animating and Sustaining Structured Networks
We understand how Networks differ from, but complement, traditional organisational forms. We know how to transform informal Networks into Structured Networks which maximise the value of Networking, both for the organisations and the participants. We transfer and embed the critical tools, skills, and behaviours which are essential for Networking, yet are often lacking in organisations today.
Our practical services to animate networks and generate tangible outputs include:
- Who's who: to visualise exactly who is who, who knows what, and who can do what
- Roadmapping: to characterise the present, consider trends, assess their implications, and develop strategies
- Lessons Learned: to identify and share lessons honestly and accurately, and to develop corrective plans
- Identifying and Sharing Good Practice: to raise standards and performance, especially in disparate groups
- Capability analysis and development: to map and rate capabilities, and explore and plan options for improvement
- Opportunity identification and specification: to focus attention on extracting value from emerging research and innovation
Our Toolkit to support Networks and Networking includes a range of Models, Guidelines, Templates and Exercises. We often use Brain-Pool Workshops to kick-start Networks, getting people to work together intensely to tackle difficult challenges or opportunities.
Our services include, where necessary, the provision of independent and objective advice on good practice in using IT tools and platforms for knowledge-sharing and collaboration.
Transforming Working Groups
The concepts and tools which underlie effective Networking can be applied not only to create new Networks from scratch but also to reinvigorate 'old-style' committees, working groups and teams. Our service includes:
- Analysing and improving the overall architecture of the existing group
- Developing new organisational models
- Developing the necessary mindset, skills and ways of working needed by individuals within the group
- Providing practical tools to support the new models and ways of working
Personal Networking Capability Training
We work closely with organisations to assess, design, embed and support Personal Networking Capability through our Training Workshops. The key elements are:
- Pre-Workshop preparation: a questionnaire between participant and New Game-Plan plus participant/manager discussions.
- A highly-interactive Training Workshop: a mix of fresh concepts, role plays, individual practice exercises and group work
- Post-Workshop sessions: one-to-one coaching, mentoring and feedback, enabling individuals to review their experience and take forward their personal 'Game-plan for Networking'.
Our Workshops are relevant wherever people need to work together to agreed goals, whether within or between groups, organisations or sectors. We aim not only to develop personal capabilities but also to create the 'chemistry' for effective collaboration. The goals, contents, target groups and benefits are as follows:
- Equip individuals with the mindset, skills and tools for effective Networking
- Build an organisational capability for Structured Networks and Networking
- Develop the Structured Network model together with a Toolkit
- Create lasting, valuable Networking links and promote sharing of good practices
- Why Networking and Networks are critical to the organisation's strategic development
- Mastering Networking as an individual mindset and practical skill
- Mastering Networks, specifically making them effective through the Structured Network model and the Toolkit
- Networks and Networking in relation to Learning and Knowledge Management
- Developing personal game-plans to apply the learning
- People with a need for highly effective networking
- Includes leaders of product teams, project teams, working groups and committees
- Well-suited to leaders who are already accomplished Networkers but want to improve their own skills and promote Networking as an organisational mindset and capability
- The course assumes basic
interpersonal skills and familiarity with the skills for team-working
Benefits for participants:
- Appreciating why Networking is today a critical capability
- Understanding the diversity of modern Networking
- Learning and applying a set of practical tools to build and animate Structured Networks
- Understanding the processes and tools needed to make Networks work
- Networking across different working styles, values and cultures
- Harnessing collaboration technology e.g. web technology, to support Networking
- Learning practical hints and behaviours to slay networking 'demons'
- Understanding and appreciating personal Networking styles and those of others
- Developing a personal Game-plan for Networking linked to real Networks
- Applying learning 'on the job' and
receiving coaching feedback
Our Training Workshops have been widely deployed to build the skills and confidence needed for effective Networking. We have trained over 350 senior scientists, technologists and managers in diverse locations across America, Asia and Europe. We also run tailored training courses in 'Partnerships for Corporate Success' and 'Developing Effective Working Relationships'. Our post-Workshop support can also be extended into a full 'Mentoring Programme' to accelerate personal development and create a true 'learning organisation'.
Richard Fox, our Learning and Facilitation Specialist, has recently prepared a review of ideas for leading economic recovery, highlighting the critical role of networking and collaboration.