At the last Knowledge Management Think Table* we reflected what a networked mindset means to us. Our harvest was rich. Here my try to visualize our reflection:

networked mindset

There is one word that caught my attention. It is the little word ‘risk’. The dimension of risk came up several times and during the discussion. I was a bit surprised. Honestly risk would not have been my first choice. Thinking about the networked mindset I had other ideas in mind. I think about connection, openness and change of perspective. I think about creativity and serendipity. To me the networked mindset is a collaborative one, one that is reaching out, combining the dots and looking for cooperation.

So I wonder are we brave when we think and work the networked way?

Indeed, it needs confidence to reach out and to share work in progress. We take a risk, the risk of failure, when we explore and test what might work.

Growing as a person means getting out of your comfort zone — so take a risk!
Cathy Salit

Two years ago I read the wonderful book Creative Confidence by the Kelley brothers. It comes to my mind now. We need as much confidence to work the networked way as we do “to act on those (new) ideas.” The two approaches – the networked and the creative way – are not that far apart.

That combination of thought and action defines creative confidence: the ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them out.
Tom and and David Kelley in Creative Confidence

To me the networked way means being brave and curious to:

Dare to reach out to others

I see the value of engaging in networks and communities. Therefore, I seek this kind of horizontal cooperation across institutional boundaries. I relate to peers and I am rewarded with trust and open doors. As knowledge worker I have learned to ask for help. I work “wikily”; the new tools definitely support a more networked approach of working together (see my earlier blog post here).

It’s not the wiki; it’s how wikis and other social media tools are engendering a new, networked mindset—a way of working wikily—that is characterized by principles of openness, transparency, decentralized decision-making, and distributed action.
Diana Scearce, Gabriel Kasper, and Heather McLeod Grant

Dare to connect the dots

Reaching out inspires. I follow many threads on social media that sometimes provide me with nuggets of wisdom or just the right link or lovely quote or just the right question.

—walking open worlds
—meeting open minds
Lennart Björnborn

Dare to work together

How can I make progress by working in isolation? Doing the work together is more productive and enriching. With a networked mindset I progress on challenging questions. We accomplish things together, we reframe problems and reach a breakthrough. This is cooperation. Learning is social.

Adopting a networked mindset is believing in abundance rather than scarcity. Scarcity thinking is the conviction that we need to do everything ourselves.
Beth Kanter

I want to work the networked way – not in isolation. And you?

Thank you to the Knowledge Management Think Table community for inspiration.

*The Swiss Knowledge Management Think Table is an informal community of Knowledge Management/ Sharing practitioners in the Swiss development sector.

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