Network Leadership helps organisations to make the most of people who, without positional power, instinctively develop and exploit broad-based alliances, resulting in improved business performance.
In modern organisations, leadership capacity is often embodied in three distinct roles, those of the Executive Leader, the Line Leader and the Network Leader. The first two of these represent visible, institutionalised leadership, with responsibility for shaping the organisational environment. But Network Leaders provide invisible, informal leadership, which is vital for the diffusion of new products and processes. This role is not formally defined and is therefore not generally part of the organisational structure. Network Leaders spread new ideas, build and orchestrate communities that foster learning and knowledge exchange, and achieve effective co-operative action. They are committed to their employing organisation and motivated to encourage others to perform positively to benefit the company and to pursue corporate strategies and policies. The Network Leader’s personal effectiveness will to a large extent be determined by the organisation’s pervading culture and values.
What outcome can be expected?
There are two main elements:
When should you use it?
The tool should be used during discussions related to organisational change and deployment of the workforce, during team building sessions, or when new challenges are to be faced by existing teams in organisations. Its outcomes will be complementary to change management and project management processes – supporting them rather than replacing them.
How does it work?
The tool is designed to be used by a trained facilitator within a workshop setting. The facilitator will work with a group of employees to encourage them to explore the Network Leadership concept and identify the Network Leaders among their group. The tool is made up of a number of stages as follows:
- Stage 1: Agreeing a definition of Network Leadership
- Stage 2: Identifying potential Network Leaders
- Stage 3: Agreeing Significant Constructs
- Stage 4: Ranking elements of Network Leadership
- Stage 5: Making an action plan to support the Network Leaders
By drawing attention to those who display the qualities of Network Leaders, and by supporting their capacity to act in this role, significant benefits will accrue to the organisation and to the workforce.