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Location: Leadership and Networks (Overview and Resources)

Discussion: Network practices for catalyzing connections and collaborationsReported This is a featured thread

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Network practices for catalyzing connections and collaborations
Sep 22 2009, 11:40 AM EDT | Post edited: Sep 22 2009, 11:42 AM EDT
I recently attended a leadership network meeting which got me thinking about the following question:

What are promising network practices that enhance the power of face-to-face meetings to catalyze connections and collaborations? Here are some things that I came up with:

• Maximize face-to-face meetings by using online community building prior to the meeting.
• Make the connections between people more visible through network mapping.
• Build deeper bonds of trust across the network through storytelling.
• Actively weave the network by introducing people to one another when you think they might benefit from knowing each other
• Ensure opportunities for serendipity when people can meet informally and discover connections and make new insights
• Mine and document the connections and learning in real time and in post-meeting spaces using wikis, blogs, twitter.
• Create online spaces where people can connect based on interests and passions, geography, action agendas

Any other suggestions? What would you add?

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1. RE: Network practices for catalyzing connections and collaborations
Sep 23 2009, 1:16 PM EDT | Post edited: Sep 23 2009, 1:16 PM EDT
Another thing that I think is interesting about face-to-face meetings (which I believe have the potential to be the most powerful way of catalyzing connections and collaboration) is the question about how to keep the energy and feeling of connectivity going after the meeting is over. This always seems to be a question that arises in powerful gatherings that I have been a part of.

I guess I have sort of come full circle on this question in a way as well . . . thinking, at times, that perhaps it is not important to figure out ways to maintain the network or attempt to keep people connected after the has ended. One of the experiences that I had at The Interaction Institute was a methodology which encouraged engagement around processes, plans or projects that were already on people's agendas. In this way, there is less pressure after a gathering or meeting to create reasons for participants to stay connected and there is more incentive for folks to continue building on the relationships they formed during a face-to-face meeting. If the connection is meaningful and doesn't create a lot of extra work for people, it will strengthen and evolve.
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