Network Weaving

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Network Maps

You don't need network mapping software to get groups started with Social Network Analysis. All you need is some large chart paper, a few markers and simple instructions. Make sure that the group has a focus for the network--perhaps some project that they are or want to work on. Here are some sample instructions:

First, draw some circle to represent the members of your group. Next add people that you are already working with on a regular basis on this project and draw lines from you to them. If any of them work together, draw lines to connect them. Then add those people you draw on occasionally. Finally, add people you aren't working with now but would like to to increase the success of your project.

Then have the groups explain their maps to the others. It's amazing the insights they unearth! And how quickly they start thinking more explicitly about relationships in their work.

The pictures above show some of the maps that the groups from the Caribbean UN gathering drew. I'm always amazed at the uniqueness of each map.