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How Communication in Networks Differs from Communication in Organizations by June Holley

June Holley shares with us this quick tool, a chart, to help us understand how to transform our communication to be more network-like. It’s a short cheat sheet that can help us expand our thinking of what it takes to build a network.


Find it below.

Here is a chart on challenges that network face in their communications.


Network Communication Challenge

Actions/ Strategies

People are in different organizations and use different communications tools and platforms.

  • Need to decide on a set of platforms and tools and provide training to network participants

  • Practice groups will need design session for their comm ecosystem – then need to check-in and coach to make sure they are using

  • Need to encourage people to become tech stewards to help people out

  • Encourage participants to “learn how to learn” and try out many different platforms

  • Encourage people to recommend new platforms


People are often used to one-way communication and are not used to initiating conversation or even information.


Network activities are often only a small part of the individual’s work (or volunteer) life so it’s harder for them to stay on top of the actions they have committed to do.

  • Need to find out ways to push messages to people through email and text loops

  • Need to set up reminders through calendars or project management

  • Use Google docs so people know where to go for list of what they agreed to do

  • Coordinators need to send out reminders frequently

People in networks often don’t know each other or know each other well.

  • Continually encourage people to reach out to others (Twosies) and create charts and/or surveys that group people by interests so they know they will have something in common with the person they call

  • Make sure that video calls have time for introductions and breakout rooms

  • Need to make it a norm to Close triangles; start with proto-governance group

People in one practice group will not know what is going on in others or know what network guardians are doing

  • This is the hardest

  • Set up incentive system for sharing

  • Ask specific people to share stories from their practice group in enewsletter and Facebook

  • Have proto gov group seek out stories