Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Madeleine Taylor on network weaving

I'm writing an article about challenges in fostering learning networks in education- based on 8 interviews we did last year- the writing is a bit of a long process but we're getting there. What is striking in the interviews is that the role of the coordinator or facilitator is so new to people. Compared to other tasks and working according to a plan, they have to learn to let go and see what emerges. But there is some confusion too, that letting go means doing less or waiting passively till others take initiave. In my experiences it means working hard, but doing more on the background, talking to people, knowing their passions and interests and knowing what will trigger their participation or even lead taking.

On Beth's blog, this blogpost I found this small interview on network weaving. I've never liked the term weaver, it's so domestic somehow... but it does highlight the invisible work on relationships of a network coordinator or facilitator.

Madeleine explains that you have to see connections and the value the connections bring to people. And knowing what connections to promote, because not everyone needs to be connected to everyone. I'd add that you can also do that from a deep understanding of the domain and the cutting-edges of the domain.

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