Although the term “networking” might be of recent vintage, the concept is as old as humanity. Recently, however, the idea has become more popular and the application of the idea has become more intensified.
Networks can be helpful for both individuals and organizations in the nonprofit sector, especially as charities try to do more with less. As with most things, however, there are good ways to go about getting involved in them and ways of making everything a total hash.
In the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of “The Nonprofit Quarterly” the editors offer advice about networking, highlighting the values that should be held to make good use of networks, as clarified by Curtis Ogden. The values are:
- Adaptability instead of control. It is impossible for any actor of “leader” to know exactly what must be done to address a particular issue.
- Emergence instead of predictability. Vying for the predictable means shortchanging ourselves of new possibilities, one of the great promises of networks.
- Resilience and redundancy instead of rock stardom. Resilient networks are built upon redundancy of function and a richness of interconnections.
- Contributions before credentials. If we are looking for new and better thinking, it should not matter from where it comes.
- Diversity and divergence. New thinking comes from the meeting of different fields, experience and perspectives.