book review: impact networks by david ehrlichman04 Sep 2021
What are the main ideas?
- impact networks are a powerful and necessary structure through which we can effectively tackle the problems we are facing at the scale we must face them.
- relationships are the heart of networks. when in doubt about what to do in a network, strength relationships.
- the difference between the hierarchical mindset and networks mindset is crucial to be a network practitioner. and networks and hierarchies exist together; one doesn’t exist at the exclusion of the other.
- a key difference between hierarchical thinking and network thinking is that leadership in hierarchy is centralized, topdown and typically serves the purpose of the leader or the organization (which isn’t necessarily bad!); in networks, leadership is distributed and serves the purpose of the collective.
- the five key practices of cultivating networks are: clarifying purpose and principles, convening, cultivating trust, coordination of actions, and collaborating. and all of that is enabled by creating functional network infrastructure.
If I implemented one idea from this book right now, which one would it be?
remember that learning networks can lead to action networks and movement networks. when in doubt, start a learning network.
How would I describe the book to a friend?
this book is an excellent combination of network theory and practice. it weaves important theoretical frameworks about networks together with practical tips for new and seasoned network practitioners alike. it’s straightforward, concise, and well-structured. and more than other network books i’ve read, it doesn’t speak from a network position with condescension. the stance feels like “networks and [insert whatever else you were/are doing]” rather than “networks or bust.” also, be sure to pay attention to the tools and practices referenced on the converge website! i think i might use those resources as much as i use the liberating structures tools.
reminder: book review structure
words / writing / post-processing
305w / 19min / ?min