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Change Networks

Change Networks

Ten success factors for a Change Network

Guest 2019-11-12 08:40:57
1. Avoid mandated or imposed Networks
• Networks need to be owned by members, not thrust upon them
• Clear procedures and clear benefits to membership help but over-regulation can lead to disharmony and mistrust
• Top-down imposition of networks should be avoided however senior management support and commitment helps

2. Avoid large Networks
• The broader/larger the network, the harder it is to centralise management arrangements, to coordinate and to control production
• Too much bureaucracy can inhibit innovations and turn people off

3. Avoid network/organisational capture
• Professional engagement and enthusiasm is key to success...
• ... but the Network must not be hijacked by one group/agency/culture such as, for example, a professional elite or a dominant organisational culture

4. Have a clear mission statement and unambiguous rules of engagement
• Goals, purposes and functions of Network membership needs to be clear...
• ... but it is a delicate balancing act because also need to avoid being over prescriptive or bureaucratic

5. Achieve a position of centrality within the Network
• Change agents who are central in the organization's informal Network have a clear advantage, regardless of their position in the formal hierarchy
• To be central to the Network enables to exert leverage to engage resources, knowledge and funds, and in turn, to better manipulate the network needs
• To be clear of what the specific network co-ordination function is
• Evidence suggests that people tend to respond to principles and charismatic network leadership, rather than to rules and structures
• Progress to a central objective is dependent upon shared commitments, principles or interests, rather than mandated changes

6. Make the Network inclusive
• Ensure all agencies and individualsgain ownership of the network...
• ... if they don't and there is no common goal then there is no purpose having a network

7. Develop strategies for Network cohesion
• People who bridged disconnected groups and individuals were more effective at implementing dramatic reforms, while those with cohesive networks were better at instituting minor changes
• Shared commitments, such as joint financing or common targets provide buy in and stability to network members
• Remove geographical, service or jurisdictional boundaries
• Employ skilled boundary spanner(s) - neutrals who engender commitment, trust and reliability
• Make use of ICT to span boundaries and enhance performance amongst and between network members

8. Actively engage respected professional leaders who will promote the network to peers
• In contrast to top-down imposition, is the use of influential key players to spread the word to their colleagues and peers

9. Provide the mandate to allow Network managers to manage and govern their activities
• The challenge is to balance self-governance and management, when network coordinator may have no management role
• The potential solution to this 'governance gap' is to provide members with the right incentives that they agree to their own system of regulation and governance to bind themselves together

10. Respond to the needs of network members in such a way that the network maintain 'net worth' (relevant and worthwhile)
• Responsiveness is key to long term survival, as long as members feel that they gain 'net worth' from their involvement, they will stay
• Some networks will be time limited
• Competing interests and priorities can co-exist as long as mutual long-term self-interests are served
• Being close to 'fence-sitters' who are ambivalent about a change, is always beneficial
• Close relationships with resisters is a double-edged sword: such ties helped change agents push through minor initiatives, but hindered major change