There are clearly risks in opening boundaries for networking. Genuine fears quite often revolve around resource opportunities, both human and financial, which tends to generate both the sense and posture of competition. This is the greatest challenge to sustainable networking, particularly as regards the essential need to open up organizational boundaries as a key characteristic and values-base for effective networking.
Elsewhere in EASUN’s training of networks (including FOLD) we have highlighted the culture of bounded single organizations, including the dominant hierarchical and supervisory ethos, as drawbacks on networking form and goals. That is because networking requires advocacy focused leadership and collaboration promoting structures, as well as the holding and use of power in ways that are geared to enhance rather than control as the exclusive modality or driving ethos in governance. This awareness illuminates possible avenues for intervening to develop sustainable networking.
The question of genuine anxiety, however, seems more daunting to tackle, given that leaders and managers normally come into networking while weighed down with experiences of bounded organizations, including leadership and governance practices preoccupied with controlling what moves at the physical level of organizations. How can the necessary trust be built, in order to give room for a new ethos that supports networking to emerge?
Please share thoughts and any concrete experiences you may have!