Network thinking

Principles for Network Thinking and Action


Networks are not just about having a shared purpose, a different structure, or different ways of working together. They also require us to think and act in fundamentally different ways.

Author, Curtis Ogden, speaks to some of the shared values and principles that help networks amplify their impact or influence through what are called “Network Effects“. These are small actions and attitudes that collectively result in a multiplier effect.

In this article, he spends some time discussing eight principles of network thinking and action that when practiced can result in effective, growing and vibrant networks:

  1. Giving First, Not Taking
  2. Contribution Before Credentials
  3. Intricacy and Flow, Not Bottlenecks and Hoarding
  4. Resilience and Redundancy instead of Rock Stardom
  5. Don’t Get Stuck in the Core; Look to the Periphery
  6. Self-Organization and Emergence rather than Permission and Predictability
  7. From Working in Isolation to Working with Others and/or Out Loud
  8. From “Who’s the Leader?” to “We’re the Leaders!”

For Reflection

  1. How are these principles at work in your network?
  2. What does it do well? What principle needs strengthening?
  3. How might you and your network begin to model these perspectives and values?