Developing Strategic Networks

In this short 3 and a half minute video, our senior programme manager for #ProjectM Beverley Powell shares a brief summary of some tips and good practice around developing strategic networks.

During this video, Beverley shares a brief definition of a network, ways to start building your strategic network, how leaders use their networks and 5 ways to develop a strategic network mindset.

Having now watched the video, please take a moment to reflect on the following questions:

Q: What key piece of learning will you take from this video?

Q: How will you put your learning back into your professional practice?

Hello, my name is Beverley Powell and I’m the senior program manager for Project M. In this short video, I’m going to be talking about the importance of developing strategic networks.

How would you define a network? For the purpose of this video, I’m going to use a definition taken from the health organisation website, which is: Networks play many roles within health care. Some drive change across organisations, whilst others unite individuals with common interests. Networks are growing in number and importance in health care and are ideally placed to help tackle systematic and complex problems faced by commissioners, providers and regulators, as well as frontline staff and service users. Research also suggests that staff networks contribute to healthcare improvement by providing a forum for experimentation and creating knowledge, exchanging information and spreading good practice.

As a manager moves into a leadership role, his or her network must re-orientate itself externally and towards the future.

To create the feeling of being adept. Professionals often rely on a community, or tribe of close colleagues, to build their strategic networks. These tribes offer three distinct characteristics: Strength and safety. Learning and improve performance. And a professional space to ask questions and advice.

A close study undertaken of 30 emerging leaders by the Harvard Business Review in 2007 found that the most effective leaders have three distinct forms of networks. Let’s have a look at each of these in turn. Personal networks, kindred spirits inside and outside of an organisation with common interests and values. Operational networks, day to day workplace connections and strategic networks, which support an organisation’s overarching business goals and values.

Here are five practical ways of developing a strategic network mindset. Show up. Be present, mindful and engaged each time you interact within your network. Have a commitment to contribute time and effort to the network and to collaborate with network peers. Have an ethos of generosity. Pay it forward and you will benefit later down the line. Focus on making connections between people. Have a focus of learning and sharing of what works at scale and spread. Thanks for watching and feel free to leave a comment to promote Project M’s approach to shared learning.


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