Through Netcentric Campaigns’ work and research, we have learned that the strength of a network can be assessed by the presence of the seven specific elements

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Leaders

Leaders drive the activities of the network, including by monitoring resources, creating messaging, outlining participant responsibilities and receiving feedback. There are five different types of leaders: principals, drivers, weavers, supporters and operators (See more detail in the section Establishing Roles and Responsibilities):

  1. Principals are the “executive producers” of the network. They are often the original participants who conceived the network, were the primary leaders voicing the need for the network, or the initial developers or funders of the network.
  2. Drivers are leaders in the field that participate in networks specifically to tap into the resources they need to organize change.
  3. Weavers are both the welcome committee and those that help to connect people across the network. They help smooth the competition among drivers who pull the network in different directions, and help to debrief, acknowledge, celebrate, thank and learn from others.
  4. Supporters are there in order to be a resource to others, adding their voice and opinions, sharing resources and being willing to contribute towards efforts to create change.
  5. Operators make sure the lights stay on by managing the logistics and back end of the network, and that the services and basic rules of the network are followed.

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Common Language

Common language is based on relevant context and network culture. It reinforces the identity of the network and works to resolve any conflict.

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Communications Grid

A communications grid allows network participants to have free-flowing conversations with one another. This grid typically includes a variety of communications channels for aligning work, solving issues and building identity as a group.

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Feedback Mechanisms

Feedback mechanisms on network activity help leaders and other participants to understand the trends, resources and needs of the entire network.

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Shared Resources

Shared resources allow participants to pool their skills, talents, experiences, expertise, services and other resources. This strengthens social ties and saves individual participants of the network both time and money.