Creating Culture: Promising Practices of Successful Movement Networks

“While movement networks offer extraordinary leverage, they also present outsized challenges. With fluid boundaries of structure and membership, movement networks (and the organizations that comprise them) require new approaches to management and leadership—approaches that are different from those employed by traditional nonprofit organizations and short-term, issue-based coalitions. “


In this article, authors Mark Leach and Laurie Mazur, share some of the insights gleaned from their inquiry into movement networks. The principles and research that they share are fully applicable to networks and partnerships.

They delineate the tensions and challenges that networks confront, and offer some observations on how effective network leaders cope with them.

They also show how those leaders foster a culture and mindset that is conducive to success.

Key Ideas

  • They address five common network issues:
    • Dealing with conflict
    • Balancing organizational and network priorities
    • Building and sharing leadership
    • Consolidating and distributing power, and
    • Balancing short-term and long-term goals.
  • They frame network leadership challenges in terms of “tensions” between two differing approaches versus “conflicts”. Most network leaders are someplace on the continuum around these issues due to personality, experience, culture, network processes etc.
  • They also spend considerable time discussing the need to embrace change while building trust.

Download / Citation

Related Resources