How network entrepreneurs can catalyze large-scale social impact through a process that applies to networks across all systems and sectors.
In The New Network Leader series, seven network entrepreneurs—leaders at the heart of some of today’s most sophisticated, large-scale solutions to the world’s social problems—have shared their accounts of catalyzing networks to create powerful social change. Although these networks take many forms, each has required consistent engagement with four network principles—trust, not control; humility, not brand; node, not hub; and mission, not organization—as well as the following fundamental process:
- Clarify purpose.
- Convene the right people.
- Cultivate trust.
- Coordinate actions.
- Collaborate generously.
These steps don’t necessarily happen in order; leaders must reaffirm them throughout a network’s formation and evolution. Consistently engaging with this process helps ensure that the four principles get baked into impact networks as they emerge.
Here is a look at each step, with examples from the network entrepreneurs who contributed to the series.