Network weaving and self management
- Written by: Hilda Campbell — COPE Scotland — MBE
- Published: 31st August 2023
Hilda Campbell from COPE Scotland on a new suite of Network Weaving resources and their upcoming event for Self Management Week 2023.
COPE Scotland have been members of the Self Management Network Scotland; a community working to change the delivery of health and social care that brings together over 800 third sector staff, healthcare professionals and individuals, and friends of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (The ALLIANCE) for many years. Which was why we approached the ALLIANCE to share work we had been doing with the Q Community; a community of thousands of people across the UK and Ireland, collaborating to improve the safety and quality of health and social care. We felt this work would also be of interest to members of the ALLIANCE.
We are delighted then to share this during Self Management Week. Hilda from COPE Scotland will be offering a session on ‘Ideas to improve the impact of our networks and those who lead them’. This will be on Zoom at 3:30pm on Monday 18 September and you can sign up to the event here. For more information on the session and the many other exciting events during self management week please visit Self Management week 2023.
COPE Scotland had attended a Network Weaving learning series within the Q Community facilitated by Kristin Johnstad and other Network Weavers where we participated in practical learning to discover and practise the skills and behaviours needed for facilitating thriving networks, rooted in the theories of June Holley. For more information, see Network Weavers Handbook.
With the ALLIANCE and Kristin Johnstad, COPE Scotland presented a session to ALLIANCE members on Network Weaving. This session was found to be informative and impactful by members, and participants shared their views on what Networking Weaving suggested to them:
- Creating something intertwined and bigger than the individuals within it
- Inter-relationships and synergies
- A pattern of work that takes time, dedication, and creativity
- Bringing new connections together and strengthening relationships
- Network weaving suggests a place to come together and make links and share multiple threads.
Participants at the session also shared the reasons why they wanted to make connections with others:
- Share, generate ideas, learn from others
- To be stimulated
- To be more effective, to feel part of something bigger, curious about other people’s experiences
- Learn together, achieve something
- To become aware of the power structures where decisions are being made.
Following this session and the feedback given and work with other partners in Scotland, COPE Scotland were delighted to continue working with the ALLIANCE and Kristin Johnstad. With support from the Supporting Q Connections Funding, we have been able to connect with colleagues working in health and social care across the UK and Ireland and beyond, to explore the challenges to networks and for those in a network leadership role. Therefore, through listening and sharing learning through many conversations, peer assist sessions, active learning sessions a new suite of excellent materials was created. These new resources include:
The Curiosity Poster
A simple tool to invite curiosity about learning more about network effectiveness, network leadership and network weaving.
A tools and resources booklet offering ideas on places to find out more about the issues identified
Curious to learn more about Network Weaving?
Evaluating your Network
Finding the time
Hassles with Hierarchies
Ideas to action
Inclusivity and Diversity
Peer Support asking for and receiving help as well as offering it
A reflective workbook offering a CPD log for those leading networks
Chapter 1: Ideas on how to use this workbook
Chapter 2: Understanding my role as a Network Weaver
Chapter 3: Relationship with myself and others
Chapter 4: Understanding my Networks
Chapter 5: Motivating and energising my Networks and me
Following their launch, someone asked ‘How do you get started?’ This prompted COPE Scotland to create a validated self-assessment resource which can help identify learning priorities around network skills. This can be downloaded HERE
Going forward, COPE Scotland are keen to continue their partnership with the ALLIANCE and are keen to explore how the resources can be further promoted to members. There is also a special interest group within the Q Community which offers active learning sessions on the materials and other issues around networking. Guests are welcome to join Nurturing and Weaving Networks SIG.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’’ Margaret Mead.
Together we can be the change.
Thanks for reading.
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