I've been studying more and less successful networks to identify what works well. We discussed this topic at the recent St Albans AMED gathering. And these seem to be some of the characteristics:

  • It meets the wants and desires of participants/members
  • It attracts their energies - almost magnetically
  • It's emergent – the structure follows the ways people want to interact with each other
  • It's hosted – Someone (or some group) makes things happens, welcomes you, sorts out the location (real or virtual)
  • The host also creates a brand or feel, to which participants respond
  • There are meetings – specific, labelled, timed, purposeful interactions, with a practical agenda – to talk, learn, do
  • Minimal bureaucracy (including cost) to serve these needs without obstructing or dominating them
  • The structure must remain flexible, as needs evolve or change – eg size, external conditions, new purposes

To what extent does AMED match up?

What else are we doing that is working?

What could we do to make it work even better?

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Comment by Paul Z Jackson on February 17, 2011 at 3:45
Almost a year since posting this, it seems AMED is evolving again.  Pockets of success, such as the networking groups, eO+P and the energised council, sit alongside many members whose wants and desires are largely unknown. 
Comment by Penny Walker on June 1, 2010 at 4:21
I'm not sure about the need for SMART goals - an informal learning network needs to have communication channels and for there to be sharing of experiences and reflections. Does the network need SMART goals, apart from those set by the people organising the communication opportunities?
Comment by Joanne Milne on March 30, 2010 at 6:29
and in coaching terms, the group develops 'SMART' Goals?

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