Network structures

Network structures
Designing effective collaboration requires a structure within which to work and a system within which diverse activities can be carried out by the different partners. Network structures can provide a framework to support collaboration, that is both flexible and stable. A network is a rapidly evolving dynamic system of interconnectedness between people that develops based on a need to share resources. Networks serve multiple purposes, including:

·         Information sharing & Idea exchange

·         Resource sharing

·         Collaborative learning

·         Cultural development

·         Knowledge building

·         Contribute with difference

·         See problems in a new way

What makes the network sustainable?
Human networks emerge from a unifying purpose, along with independent and voluntary links, and with multiple leaders.  The unifying purpose, systems of work, processes, values, and procedures, are all central to consistency across the network. As well, Multiple leaders are also a major characteristic of networks, where power comes from the unifying purpose and a specific function that advances the organization.  In the next section, we address how to build strong collaborations that develop around a unifying purpose, alignment of processes, articulation of shared values and resources.