Having surveyed your network using the Scorecard and undertaken the core questionnaire and the maturity matrix, it’s time to bring all this data together and work with your members on what action you need to take collectively.
Making sense of the diagnostics and action planning
- Half-day workshop to review the diagnostic materials
- A suite of questions is provided for the network leader to use, generating the ones from the list they want to use based on the diagnostics
- Materials to help them action the plan
This is a half-day diagnostic workshop with the network leader and a group of network members.
The Workshop Questions
The network leader uses the questions to elaborate on any of the areas that are unclear from the diagnostics, or that need further discussion.
At the workshop, the participating members use the diagnostics evidence to answer the questions as far as they can and then discuss any areas, which are not clear together.
For instance, in the section on shared purpose, the participants will use the answers to the Core Questionnaire, the responses from the Network Health Scorecard, and the score on the first column (Purpose and Direction) of the Network Maturity Matrix to answer the questions.
The importance of the workshop is in the discussion between network members and leaders to come to a level of shared understanding about how the network works now, and how it can improve to be as effective as possible with and for the members.
Find a space where you can accommodate your participating members in small groups of 6, sitting at coffee tables, or small 4ft tables (not 5ft – they are too big you can’t hear yourselves across them). Pick somewhere with heating control, natural light, parking and provide plenty of water in the room.
Setting these workshop conditions really does matter.
Workshop Programme (half day 4 hours)
1. Presentation of the diagnostics: 30 mins
30 mins – presentation and overview of the diagnostics by members who were involved in the earlier discussions and by the network leader.
2. Group sense-making: 50 mins
30 mins group discussion in small groups, followed by gallery wall (5 mins) and whole-group discussion (15 mins)
In your small groups discuss:
- What are you most struck by?
- What surprises you about the results?
- Do the results confirm anything you were already thinking?
Provide large post-its with one colour for ‘surprises’ and one for ‘confirmations’
Ask members to post these on the wall, have a look at them all and then have a whole group discussion for 10 minutes ‘ What does this say about our network?’.
Break: 15 mins
3. Focusing on Key Questions: 40 minutes
Distribute the questions across the tables asking each table to focus on one section of questions (e.g. shared purpose or impact). Remind them to take the diagnostic evidence as their first point of reference in trying to answer the questions. Provide flip-chart paper per table to capture their responses.
4. Focusing on Development: 45 mins
Mix the tables so that there is one person at least from each of the Key Questions tables on each new table. Ask them to share their discussions and together agree on priorities for the network to focus on in terms of its own development to ensure it is effective as it can be. Ask the tables to prioritise these into the 3 most important areas, and 3 areas that also need attention.
5. Agreeing the Focus: 30 mins
A whole group conversation – sharing the feedback from each table and building the priorities. Make sure you capture the 3 key priorities first and ask subsequent tables to only add to rather than repeat. Look for where there is a clear consensus across the tables. What are the top 3 or 4?
Ask the whole room to then talk about any other issues they thought were important but haven’t made it to the top few.
Review the Maturity Matrix and set your ambition for where you want the scores to be in 6 months' time. The system will display your results, as history, and when you return in 6 months and re-do the Matrix, you can see how you are progressing against expectations.
6. Making it happen: 20 mins
Ask for a volunteer group to work with the network leaders to agree on the action plan arising from the key priorities. You may want to network to think about what sorts of members they need in the action group.
Agree on a timetable for determining the actions and when to review the impact of those actions (e.g. by re-running the diagnostics). You need to know if the actions have worked.