POPs approach to Network Development

WHY networks are effective:

  • Improve information flow.
  • Increase communication and awareness of relationships.
  • Open new resources
  • Expand and support leadership.
  • Encourage collaboration, innovation, and learning for breakthroughs.
  • Increase inclusion and bridge divides.
  • Result in better outcomes.
  • Facilitate scale and impact.


And WHEN they might be a suitable organising structure:

  • The problem or opportunity is big
  • You need new ideas
  • The solution is not clear or you need to build a new system
  • You need to engage people from different backgrounds

More here: https://networkweaver.com/product/why-networks/.

Whether we are working to address the climate emergency or tackling poverty, the problems are complex, huge and require everyone to be playing a role in the solutions, which aren’t known.

So we can be confident networks should be the majority organising structure. 

Start with two to three people from two to three organisations/groups and come together around something or somewhere you care about.

We think it’s important to have a few people to shoulder the burden and bring different perspectives to the work. 

Developing and releasing capacity to drive networks

Making something happen always needs an individual or a group of people dedicated to putting in the time it takes to organise. It may start small, but the aim is that this becomes a larger group or even a number of different groups.

This network ‘engine house’ then holds a focus that reaches outwards using inclusive ways of working.

Offer open, clear and attractive invitations

Why are you bringing people together? Is it to fix a problem, create something new, share gifts of the heart or hand or challenge injustice? Creating an invitation that people respond to wraps the purpose up with an attractive offer to have a conversation. Maybe this looks more like a party than a meeting?

When they bring people together they

Create consciously safe spaces

For people to thrive the time, place and how people meet is important. Someone’s feeling of psychological safety needs to be consciously built. This will affect how you organise people to come together. Making people feel welcome and included. A critical part to this is ensuring everyone can feel heard and understood.

as they develop and build the network they use

Multiple communication methods

Reaching people is really important. Having multiple ways of sending out information is important. But even more important is allowing people to make contact with one another across the network.