Whole Network

Time
90–120 minutes
What you need
Visual mapping tool, pen and paper

Purpose

  • Identify points of weakness and ‘structural holes’ where a single break in communication could cause the whole network to stop working.
  • Identify key individuals in a network who act as ‘connectors’ linking many others together (the person who ‘knows everyone’), or ‘contractors’ who provide more direct access to certain network resources (the person has ‘direct lines’ of communication).
  • Identify areas where networks are dense (‘cliques’) or sparse to the point where certain individuals are isolated.

Advantages

  • Reveals lines of power or influence within the workplace.
  • Reveals points of weakness and vulnerability.
  • Produce knowledge by exposing neglected relationships or dependencies, from which transformations might proceed.

Steps

  1. Using existing documentation and/or participant-provided data, build a network map of an organisation.
  2. This might involve:
    1. mapping membership of teams or departments
    2. mapping committees, working groups, management groups, etc