Patti Anklam provides a guide for leaders and participants to work within and lead purposeful social networks in the world. Awareness of networks and networked organizations has reached the mainstream of the business publishing world, as evidenced in the increasing number of articles in such publications. Many graduate business school programs now teach social network analysis and network theory.
Networks exist outside of corporations as well everyone participates in multiple networks, including the informal family, community, work, and their purely social networks of friends. Formal networks include civic organizations like Rotary International, alumni groups, and business and professional groups. The latter have all evolved distinct governance models, norms for joining and participating, legacy databases, membership rolls, and very public identities.
There is yet another class of network that is not yet well defined, and for which the norms and governance models are emerging–networks such as inter-company and intra-company learning and collaboration networks; independent consultants who share common interests and passions who want to remain independent but work collaboratively and consistently with like-minded others. They can be geographically local business networks; web-based virtual learning groups and communities; or global action networks destined to make the world a better place.
The purpose of this book is to provide a taxonomy and guidebook to these emergent networks, with a specific focus on helping leaders and participants to create and sustain successful networks. It will address the need for articulating a governance model and norms, selecting and using appropriate tools, and expectations for how the network will grow and change over time.