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 Networking Resources Archive

"Leaders unwilling to seek mutually workable arrangements with systems external to their own are not serving the long-term institutional interests of their constituents.” 
— John Gardner, On Leadership

Building/Maintaining Your Network

A Guide to More Effective Networking in Three Simple Tips

Purdue University’s Mike Kohler gives advice on networking: remember that the goal is not to make a sale on the spot, always put yourself on the other side of the table, and don’t forget that your network is measured in quality, not volume. 

Building Your Network: 3 Things to Do Every Day

Networking doesn’t have to be a one-time or major undertaking. In fact, there are little things that you can do every day that don’t take much time out of your schedule and help you keep up with your contacts. In a LinkedIn blog post, marketing guru Michael Port shared three things he does every day to grow and maintain his professional network: share his network by introducing people, share information relevant to your colleagues and contacts, and be actively compassionate and show you’re thinking about the people you know.

Career Boosters You Can’t Afford to Ignore

This article sets out the four career-boosting strategies you should be incorporating into your five-year plan. The highlights are continuous exploration, pursuing your passions, cultivating personal relationships through networking, and becoming a difference maker. 

Catalytic Collaboration

SSIR identifies ‘catalytic collaboration’ as an emerging approach to social change, promoting it as a way to help nonprofits work together to create something greater than the sum of their parts. The authors present four essential behaviors, four profiles of organizations embodying these behaviors, and three lessons for groups aspiring to effect change at this level.

Collective Impact

Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination. Collective impact is a promising approach using evidence-based strategy and existing resource to improve outcomes for students. The Stanford Social Innovation Review offers an overview of the strategy. KnowledgeWorks’s guide to federal policymakers discusses ways to scale up collective impact efforts.

Effective Cold Approaching and Follow Up At Conferences

Life-Long Learner understands that a cold approach can be difficult. He suggests making your email humorous and personal as a great way to be noticed and acknowledged over other generic emails received throughout the day. 

Exploring the current context for Professional Learning Networks, the conditions for their success, and research needs moving forwards

Are you involved in professional learning networks within your school system or community? An in-depth research report released in Emerald Open Research explores how these PLNs can enable schools to collaborate to improve education in disadvantaged areas.

From "Lean Start-Up" to "Lean Collaboration"

The CEO and founder of STIR Education, Sharath Jeevan, offers nonprofit organizations helpful tips on how to foster long-lasting partnerships with their  government. He believes that partnering with government officials at the infant stages of any nonprofit fully integrates the organization's programs into social systems. 

How to Build Your Own Personal Advisory Board

Interested in building your own personal advisory board to seek advice and mentorship? Read this article from LiveCareer to learn how.

How to Cold Email a Complete Stranger

One of the biggest networking activities is reaching out to strangers or acquaintances about professional opportunities, but it can be uncomfortable to email someone you’ve never met to ask for advice or assistance. An article on The Billfold blog provides five tips on how to jump in and send an email to a stranger and how to increase your chances of them responding: make your introduction brief and specific, have a clear ask, offer them something in return, stick the landing, and say thanks.

How to Make the Right Connections When You Don’t Already Have an “In”

If you’re starting with the wrong connections, how can you hope to work your way into the right ones? Dorie Clark discusses four strategies in this Harvard Business Review article: 1) embrace specificity; 2) accept ‘six degrees of separation; 3) speak for free, even in unlikely places; and 4) create content to attract the right people to you. 

How Leaders Can Make Their Message More Memorable

This blog post by cognitive psychologist Carmen Simon examines issues that professionals find challenging where memory is concerned. She presents three hurdles to communicating memorable messages along with solutions on how to address them.

How School Networks Work and Why That's Important

Education Week’s article breaks down school networks into six categories ranging from loose design and control to tight design and control, providing options that have distinct advantages and challenges for different school types. 

How to Create Social Impact Through Thoughtful Networks

This first in a series of blog posts exemplifies four types of knowledge networks and eight network design dimensions for creating social impact. Pugh explains that modern social platforms do not render design unnecessary. In fact, successful network leaders agree that generating social impact requires agreement on where you’re going and how to get there together. 

How to Develop a Common Agenda for a Collective Impact

Paul Born’s “how-to guide” shares a way of building a common agenda, in order to help inform “your way.” This conversational piece, prepared for Tamarack’s Community Change Institute, recommends a five-step approach: 1) form a staff team; 2) bring your top 100 together; 3) listen to your community by implementing a broad-based community engagement strategy; 4) develop short-term action teams to test your quick win ideas; and 5) write your common agenda and shared measurement strategy as a 5-year community plan and formalize your partnership. 

How to Network: 18 Easy Networking Tips You Can Use Today

New ideas for the best way to network are constantly emerging. Science of People shares 18 Easy Networking Tips You Haven’t Heard Before.

How the Over-Networked Can Manage Their Contacts

Networking is an important part of developing a strong circle of professional contacts, but a bigger contact list can make managing your relationships more difficult. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, networking expert Matt Bird discusses how to not feel overwhelmed by a growing network and not overcommit ourselves for the sake of making new connections. He suggests taking some time to recalibrate your relationship priorities so you can focus your resources and energy on the people and networks you most want to develop. He also suggests organizing a social event two or three times a year to keep in touch with people you don’t talk to on a regular basis and looking for more efficient ways to fulfill requests you receive, like having a phone call rather than an in-person meeting or referring them to a colleague who might be better suited to help.

How to Politely End a Conversation

Networking events and conferences are a great time to meet many different people in your field. However, it can be easy to find yourself in a conversation for longer than you anticipated or unsure of how to bring a chat to a close. In a Huffington Post article, Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman shares seven tips on how to wrap up a conversation: being fully present, making sure your body language communicates your interest, not using an excuse, giving the other person permission to go, mentioning a follow-up if you want to stay in touch, expanding the circle, and escaping long-winded talkers.

I Don't Have Time to Network!

Networking can often be an overwhelming, time-intensive act that people feel they must add onto their already long to-do lists. In a recent blog post, networking guru Larry James offers ways to integrate networking into your day-to-day activities so it doesn’t have to be an extra activity to schedule in. Focusing on the tenet that networking is all about relationships, James encourages participating in smaller, regular networking meetings as opposed to large events. Smaller organized groups with regular meeting times, like weekly breakfasts or monthly lunches, make networking a part of your regular schedule and make each participant feel like an integral member of the group, encouraging deeper relationships to develop.

If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want to Go Far, Go Together

Michael Simmons promotes incorporating relational thinking into efficiency-driven approaches to achieving goals. He warns against a heads-down focus on success that uses other people as a means to an end. Instead, relational thinking co-creates a supportive and inspirational network that broadens your peripheral vision for how to meet your goals. 

In One Sentence, Describe What You Do

“What do you do for a living?” is a question we often hear or ask when meeting new people. A typical response is giving our title and organization, but that doesn’t usually give much insight into the work that we do on a day-to-day basis. Business consultant Elliot Begoun shares in a blog post how he transformed his answer to that question to provide more about the work that he does. He challenged himself to whittle his elevator speech down to a single sentence that describes his work, his position, and his purpose—what people are more interested in when they ask you what you do for a living.

Insights from Interviewing

Throughout the course of their career, most professionals will play the role of both interviewer—hiring someone for a position—and interviewee—seeking a new position themselves. Regardless of which side of the interview table you’re sitting at, there is a lot to learn from the interview process. Joe Nathan, a senior fellow at the Center for School Change, recently published a column on what he’s learned from folks he recently helped to interview to lead his organization. He notes that his biggest takeaways from the interview process were candidates showing they have an understanding of the organization they’re applying to, submitting custom resumes for each job, being specific in examples provided, listening carefully to questions, and being confident and open about your goals, interests, and abilities.

Learn to Love Networking

Networking can be a tedious task. However, writers at Harvard Business Review conducted research about why people decline to network and how they can learn to love it. The article suggests that directing the focus to an organization’s mission and cause, rather than oneself, helps take out the awkwardness of networking.

The Necessity of a Quarter-Life and Mid-Life Crisis

This article re-defines a ‘life crisis’ as a ‘watershed moment’ and suggests crux questions to guide open discussion about these experiences. Based on a U-curve of happiness and positive impact, Jon Mertz identifies watershed moments as prime opportunities to share experiences across generations. 

Network Building: Closing Triangles

A big part of networking is about connecting people you know who could benefit from working together, and nonprofit social media and networking guru Beth Kanter focuses on one effective way to do just that in one of her recent blog posts. In it, she digs into the concept of “closing triangles,” which is the process of introducing two people in a network who don’t already know each other and can benefit from connecting. Not only does this help the two people being introduced, but it also allows the introducer to further build their relationships with both people—the cornerstone of good networking.

Network Development: Broadening AND Deepening

Noted poet & philosopher David Whyte examines the elements inside of people that need to be discovered when it comings to networking. In his poem, Working Together, Whyte recalls a memory of staring out of an airplane window and viewing the misty sky. He compares his experience to the experience of getting to know others and how it’s important to understand the inner feelings within someone.

Networking: It’s not about the Networking Events

This Forbes article offers four ideas on how to kickstart and maintain networking opportunities without stepping foot in a networking event. "Networking isn’t just about the big networking event or exchanging business cards at a conference; it’s about the connections you make and what you do with them."

New Year's Resolution: Tap the EPFP Network

"Networking is essential to effective leadership in today's organizations. Leaders who are skilled networkers have access to people, information, and resources to help solve problems and create opportunities. More than 15 years ago, Peirce and Johnson noted in their book Boundary Crossers: Community Leadership for a Global Age that "there are no magical organizational or leadership structures -- just people and relationships." To this description of today's leadership challenges, IEL would add issues whose resolution requires connections to individuals working in other agencies and organizations.

"Leaders who neglect their networks are missing out on a critical component of their role as leaders" (Grayson and Baldwin, 2007). Networking is about expanding one’s definition of what and how, through exposure to others’ thinking, which can challenge basic assumptions about what we think we know (Day 2001, 597). "By seeing networking as an integral part of your role as a leader and by taking action to develop and nurture related skills, you begin to create benefits for yourself, your team, and your organization” (Grayson and Baldwin 2007).

Start 2014 by getting serious about expanding your professional network to include individuals working on similar problems, but doing so from different vantage points. The best place to start: the EPFP Network.

New Year’s Resolutions for the Go-Getter

Many New Year’s resolutions are made with good intentions—such as working out every day or traveling more—but we often add so many to our plate that we get overwhelmed and cast them aside early in the year. Recruiting firm Rigsby Search Group shared six New Year’s resolutions that can make your year productive and reach across both professional and personal worlds—as well as grow and strengthen your professional network! They include spreading your skills, getting involved, reading more, learning from your network, positioning yourself to move up in your career, and believing in yourself.

Nine Networking Tips for Very Shy People

Jim Nichols VP of Marketing for Apsalar, outlines nine tips for effective networking for shy individuals. Get past your networking demons. With these simple approaches, anyone can find networking to be a little bit simpler. 

Nonstop Networking: How to Improve Your Life, Luck, and Career

This book provides strategies for strong networking, focusing on in-person interactions. Andrea Nierenberg, a personal marketing consultant, shares her techniques for linking people to achieve mutual goals. The book focuses on building relationships by capitalizing on natural abilities which people already possess. Click here to view the Amazon page for the book.

The Power of Networks

Our partner institution and host of MA EPFP, the Rennie Center, published a new blog on harnessing the power of networks. Saying “too often, educators tend to tackle problems in isolation,” they work with several kinds of networks to unite and empower educators. These include Communities of Practice, Learning Communities, and Improvement Networks, each of which have unique value. Learn more about the Rennie Center work with networks here.

Researchers Discovered a Psychological Trick to Get People to Remember You at Networking Events

Conferences and networking events are great ways to meet people in your field and expand your professional network, but with all of the conversations and swapped business cards, it can be difficult to make yourself stand out and be memorable to the folks you speak with. A Business Insider article highlights a recent study from the University of Florence in Italy, which states that people are more likely to remember smiling faces. The researchers suggest two theories for why happy faces were more memorable. The first is that happy images may enhance people’s ability to pay attention; the second is that smiling faces might encourage people to better connect that image with its context. So next time you’re chatting with someone new at a meeting, be sure to smile!

The Role of Networks in Advancing Personalized Learning

FSG takes this further by providing a framework for the Role of Networks in Advancing Personalized Learning.

Start Networking with People Outside your Industry

Networking is an important part of developing a strong circle of professional contacts, but the lack diversity in your contacts can affect you negatively in the long run.

The Simple Formula for Following Up

Ivan Miser, the founder and chief visionary officer of BNI, developed a simple formula to successfully follow up with people after an event. In an article he wrote for Entrepreneur, he calls the system 24/7/30, which allows individuals to successfully network and connect with a newly founded acquaintance. He suggests using email or a hand written sentiment to reach out to the individual after a 24 hour period. Then, it is recommended to connect with them via social media after 7 days. And lastly, it is best to schedule a face-to-face meeting within the next 30 days. Miser believes that technology can strongly aid networking practices and strengthen bonds between like-minded individuals.  

The Social Profit Handbook

With an increased focus on data and metrics in 21st-century philanthropy and giving, it’s important for nonprofits to understand how to demonstrate the impact of programs and use qualitative and quantitative measures effectively. An article in Philanthropy News Digest identifies a book to help nonprofit leaders navigate funding opportunities: The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations by David Grant, former president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The book offers advice and tools on the subject for nonprofit leaders to use, including a useful rubric that provides “a structure and format for asking what matters to us, and for describing what success looks like.”

The Top TED Talks of 2018 So Far -- and What You Can Learn From Them

Catch up on the top 7 TED Talks from this year- including inspirations for social and professional networking such as: ‘The Secret to Great Opportunities? The Person You Haven’t Met Yet’, ‘You Don’t Have to Be an Expert to Solve Big Problems’, and ‘Looking for a Job? Highlight Your Ability, Not Your Experience.’

Using Data for Action and for Impact

Nonprofit organizations and social businesses are seeking to use data for social good. Nonprofits and social businesses must demonstrate their impact through the communities being served in terms of financial, social, and environmental wellbeing. In order to implement social good, data must be used in a direct response to the community and organization, as well as to establish the effects nonprofits and social businesses have on creating change.

Why Being The Most Connected Is A Vanity Metric

This article introduces three principles to help move networkers away from focusing on the numbers: your network is a set of clusters, brokering info between networks is game-changing, and brokerage is more than a tactic. Simmons gives examples of how to apply these principles and make brokerage networking your way of life.

You’re Not Aiming High Enough: How to Network Up to Big Connections

Unsworth’s article in The Huffington Post discusses networking, not just for the sake of expanding one’s contacts, but with the purpose of growing one’s business to the top. In order to do this, Unsworth believes you must: identify specific targets, offer value, ignore fear, keep up contact, keep contact interesting, be memorable, and arrange follow-up meetings.  

2 New Databases Connecting the Education Community

·         UVA National Education Researcher Database (NERD)

·         Students at the Center Hub (JFF)

UVA and Jobs for the Future have recently released databases that look at a variety of different topics, including student motivation and cognitive development. These two new databases facilitate engagement between unlikely collaborators in the education community.

When many people think of networking, they think of business—and not necessarily teachers. But building a network is just as important for educators as it is for other types of professionals. An Education Week Teacher article offers ways for teachers to build and develop their own “professional learning networks,” or PLNs, to share and learn with fellow educators. The article outlines three steps to develop a PLN: finding fellow educators through colleagues, organization email lists, and social media; finding niche groups (like for English teachers, fourth-grade teachers, or ed-tech enthusiasts) through Twitter chats, Ning groups, and book clubs; and finding buddies and mentors in your PLN who you feel comfortable going to with questions or who has a similar style or interest as you.

3 Steps to Better Networking

Being a good listener is just as important as being a good speaker, and it turns out the same goes for professional networking. A recent article on Huffington Post offers three steps for better networking that focus on asking questions and listening to others talk about their work to build better working relationships and partnerships.

3 Ways to Make Networking Work for You

The idea of networking can be daunting for many people; introverts are exhausted by the thought of attending a large networking event, parents have little time to devote to building new professional relationships, and job seekers feel the pressure to make connections in order to advance in their career. Sarah Hillware, founder of the nonprofit Girls Health Ed, offers three ways to make networking easier in a Huffington Post article. Her suggestions include practicing authentic networking, keeping an open mind and an open heart, and realizing that there is more than one way to network.

5 Reasons Business Cards Still Matter

According to an article in Entrepreneur, even though most of modern day networking occurs online, the business card is still an effective tool in self-marketing. Having a business card to distribute creates a personal bond with a potential new connect. The graphics and quality of the card also set a standard of who you are as a person. Business cards also show preparation and represent an ever-growing potential to network.

5 Steps for Building an Effective Impact Network

The New Network Leader series focuses on five core network principles: 1) clarifying purpose; 2) convening the right people; 3) cultivating trust; 4) coordinating actions; and 5) collaborating generously.

5 Ways to Make Better Small Talk (Without Talking About the Weather)

Standing in an elevator or waiting for a meeting to start often leads to making small talk, but a Huffington Post article provides useful tips for giving you conversation ideas that don’t involve the weather. Writer Lindsay Holmes offers five ways to make even the shortest conversations meaningful, including searching for commonalities, not talking about work, embracing silence, viewing every conversation as a learning experience, and keeping the conversation positive.

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Networking Efforts

Networking requires more than just simple chit-chat to be effective. Business Insider offers five tips that will better individuals when they network. Individuals must understand why they are networking to begin with and what their goal is. Once objectives are set, it is important to plan out access points and to create relationships with other like-minded people.

6 Tips to Help You Make Sure Your Business Networking is FIT for Purpose.

Heather Townsend, author of The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking, offers a self-help guide to effectively network. Her FITTER system enhances networking both in and outside the business world by promoting steps such as following up, targeting the right people, research, and engagement.

7 Ways You Can Create a Network of Helpful People

Building a personal network can be tricky, and it can sometimes feel that the most important thing is to have the biggest stack of business cards, the most connections on LinkedIn, and the highest number of followers on Twitter. However, what matters most in networking is not necessarily the number of connections you have, but the number of those connections that are helpful to you. In a Forbes article, Influence & Co. CEO John Hall advises focusing on building a network based on quality rather than quantity in 7 ways: stay top of mind, expect nothing in return, make the relationship meaningful, focus on transparency, make sure your connections know what’s valuable to you, show appreciation, and remember the value of small gestures.

8 Questions to Ask Someone Other Than “What Do You Do?”

The Harvard Business Reviews offers alternatives to work-related questions as strategies to build rapport with new contacts. 

10 Reasons Why Networking Is Essential For Your Career

Want to learn more about networking? Here are 10 reasons why networking is essential to your career.

10 Tips for Successful Business Networking

Success coach Stephanie Speisman outlines 10 tips for effective networking in this article. She defines networking as the linking of individuals who can become walking advertisements for one another and provides suggestions for how individuals can form strong relationships with networks. Click here to read the tips.

11 Tips to Properly Introduce People Over Email

We’ve all been in a situation where we know two people whose lines of work intersect and should meet, or have been asked to introduce a colleague to another acquaintance who works in the same sector or an organization they’re interested in. But what’s the best way to make sure that your introduction email is effective and welcomed? In a recent TIME article, Auren Hoffman, CEO of LiveRamp, offers 11 tips to introduce people over email: take the time to prepare, ask for permission, make sure there is a quick follow up, be considerate of each person’s time, clearly give the location of each person, give a quick bio of the person, mention if they may have met before, include all necessary parties, only forward emails that make the original author look good, make your intentions clear, and keep it concise.

20 Networking Tips from a Master Networker

As an independent marketing consultant, Jon Levy finds that a robust network—and effective networking skills—are key to his professional success. But Jon isn’t just any consultant; his network includes the likes of celebrities like singer Regina Spektor and science educator Bill Nye. So how did he build up such a high-profile network? He shared 20 of his networking tips in a TIME article, showing that anyone can use simple ideas and effective behaviors to grow and use their network. Some of his tips include adding value without expecting anything, befriending gatekeeprs, understanding that not everyone will like you, and having a topic prepared to start a conversation.

Social Media and Networking

How Leaders Create and Use Networks

Looking to create and use networks? Learn how to engage in three forms of networking: operational, personal, and strategic.

How to Live-Tweet Any Event to Promote Your Organization

Douglas Gould talks about how live tweeting an event can help out your company. Check out these tips on how to utilize the platform.

Facebook’s Fundraising Tool for Nonprofits

Nonprofits depend on outside funding to pursue their work and achieve their goals, and Facebook has created a way to help nonprofits get the money they need to succeed. A TechCrunch article discusses the social media network’s new fundraising tool, a revamped version of their current “Donate” button, which makes donating a one-click process on posts as well as pages to encourage more spontaneous giving. While Facebook has launched a beta version with only 37 national nonprofit organizations, such as the World Wildlife Fund and National Multiple Sclerosis Society, they plan to make the tool available to more nonprofits in 2016.

Five Better Ways to Network on Twitter & LinkedIn

Networking on social media can sometimes be an overwhelming experience. While in-person networking events offer a relatively discrete group of professionals with whom you can interact, social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn can seem like massive meeting halls with countless people and conversations to make your way through. While the seemingly endless amount of possibilities and opportunities to connect online can be a good thing, an article by social marketing strategist Mallory Woodrow explains how to make social media feel less like a massive group and more like a small cocktail hour. Her five suggestions are to seek out the authors of the content you read, become an author yourself, leverage Twitter keyword searches, join relevant LinkedIn groups, and meet the people who are looking at you.



Social Media and Networking Book Recommendations 

Looking for a new book to dive into and interested in social media and networking? Consider checking out Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings by Charles Kadushin, which provides an overview of social networks through a social science lens, and The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media by Jose van Dijck, which chronicles the history of social media, including its rapid growth and impact on technology and society.

Social Media Posting Guide

Social media is a huge part of how any organization—from schools to nonprofits to international corporations—communicates with the public. But with so many social media channels and strategies out there, it can be overwhelming or confusing to jump into the digital conversation. Top Nonprofits founder Craig Van Korlaar created a useful infographic to help nonprofit leaders better understand how to effectively use social media. The visual guide includes best practices for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; guidelines for understanding your audience and planning your content; and even suggested timelines of how often you should post, plan, and strategize on social media.

Social Media Tools for Social Change and Nonprofit Organizations

The Research Center for Leadership In Action at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service offers leaders many ways to connect to and share resources with other leaders, organizations and stakeholders. Today’s hyper-connected world requires leaders include social media tools in their communication strategy. This website provides resources to help leaders understand why they should use social media, which social media tools to use and for what purpose.

Social Networking Do's and Don't's

Social networking is a valuable tool, but it can also pose security risks. Columbia University's Information Technology department provides a guide on how to remain skeptical and cautious in order to protect one’s security online. Click here to read the do’s and don’ts.

Which of the Top 5 Professional Networking Sites - LinkedIn, Quora, Plaxo, Viadeo, XING - is Best for Your Business?

Need help figuring out how to expand your Network. Check out this article by Christine Hueber.

3 Apps that Take the "Work" Out of Networking

Networking is time consuming and with juggling career and life, finding time to meet others is difficult. Mediabistro compiled a list of the three best online applications for networking. Shapr compiles a small list of top connects and saves people time because of the exclusive list. Weave sets up meetings with potential connects to talk face to face. For conferences, Lanyrd provides all the details about that specific conference prior to attending.

3 Tips to Better Use the Social Networks You Use Every Day

Many of us are on social media networks but may not be using them to their full networking potential. Entrepreneur contributor Cynthia Johnson offers tips for maximizing your networking effectiveness on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For Twitter, she suggests engaging with someone based on what they’ve already tweeted, then build from that initial reaction. On LinkedIn, she notes, there are two ways to network: asking your contacts to connect you with someone they know, or engage with people in similar fields or organizations through conversations on LinkedIn groups. Similarly, Johnson suggests engaging in professional Facebook groups to make connections and find related groups that may also be of interest.

5 Book Recommendations for Nonprofit Networking and Data Nerds

Looking for some books on networking and social media? Nonprofit networking guru Beth Kanter put together a list of five books she recommends for learning about how digital and social media, professional networking, and data can benefit both your organization and you as an individual. The books focus on topics ranging from how digital media affects our everyday lives and leveraging your professional network to presenting data effectively and creating a data-informed culture within your organization.

6 Social Media Skills Every Leader Needs

A common trend seems to occur as new technologies are created. The early adopters see their investments yield large returns, and those that avoided the technologies early on must scramble to adopt them in order to maintain relevance. Few would be surprised that this trend has occurred with social-media technologies. Read this report to learn about six social-media skills that challenge the "...20th century model of management and organizations...” and how those skills can potentially increase an organization’s competitive advantage.

8 Ways to Better Market Yourself on LinkedIn in 2015

Interested in learning how to build a stronger LinkedIn presence for yourself and your organization? In this blog post, marketing consultant Brian Honigman sifts through the multitude of methods to leverage your LinkedIn profile and offers tips from eight tips from LinkedIn experts. These tips include utilizing LinkedIn’s built-in relationship management tools, actively sharing relevant content with your network, individually reach out to some of your most valuable and expert connections, and including your LinkedIn profile link in your email signature and on business cards.

10 Tips for the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

With 300 million users on LinkedIn, it can be tough to make your profile stand out. Luckily, Link Humans, a social media and digital marketing firm, have compiled a list of tips to build the perfect LinkedIn profile that will help you grow your professional network. The tips, which are presented in a handy infographic, include being active, including details, incorporating visuals, and including non-workplace experience like volunteering.

10 Twitter Best Practices for Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Tech for Good blog recently published a blog post listing the 10 Twitter best practices for nonprofits. Drawing upon social media analysis and data, they offer ways to invest in Twitter to grow your organization. Their best practices include giving followers useful, interesting, and retweetable content; writing tweets in clear, concise language; curate good content through retweets; tweeting or retweeting 2-8 times daily and spreading tweets throughout the day; tweeting on weekends (or scheduling tweets to post over the weekend); always including links in tweets; uploading photos and infographics; not overusing hashtags; creating custom images for statistics and quotes; and understanding Twitter analytics.

30 Networking Resources To Grow Your Career

This compilation document reviews the top networking resources so that you are inspired to utilize the best books, videos, podcasts and tools to grow your career. 


Leadership in Networking and Communications

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Capital

Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions that hold a society together – it is the glue. EPFP promotes social capital. It increases the density of the working relationships that are vital to the exchange of knowledge, experience and resources and – to effective leadership. Two types of social capital are created through EPFP: short- and long-term bonding social capital and bridging social capital. Read the World Bank's overview on social capital.

Are Backbone Organizations Eroding the Norms that Make Networks Succeed?

Danielle M. Varda argues that a backbone organization can erode community norms of collective accountability and engagement. Trends are shifting away from shared accountability but this may be due to the codified structure of collective impact networks. This article considers the power of a coordinated and aligned network without undermining success by over-emphasizing the backbone structure. 

Big Communications for Small Nonprofits

Managing communications for a nonprofit, especially a small one, can be difficult with small staffs and even smaller budgets. But an article by Matt James, president and CEO of the small communications and policy group Next Generation, shares his experiences as a nonprofit leader looking to have a big strategic communications impact. Through his organization’s work on clean energy, climate change, and kids and families, James learned three main communications lessons: the role and true need for nonpartisan, fact-based initiatives; small organizations can benefit from aligning with big partners; and the importance of investing in staff that understand the value of and possess the skills to implement quality communications projects.

Create Non-Toxic Teams

Michael Licenbalt talks about how pressure on a team can lead to toxic environments which hurt productivity and increase stress. He states that to build a high performing team, we need to shift out of the habit of being negative when faced with setbacks, and into the habit of possibility thinking. He charges leaders with the role of facilitating this shift. 

Developing a Network Strategy for Leadership Programming 

The implementation of any new program requires leadership development, but did you know that building a network strategy to support leadership development is key to its success? A recent webinar from the Leadership Learning Community, “Developing a Network Strategy for Leadership Programming,” focuses on using existing and building new networks to foster relationships and partnerships and sharing ideas across networks to improve the efficacy of a leadership development initiative.

Disrupting Opportunity Gaps will Hinge on Networks

Julia Freeland Fisher of the Christensen Institute reviews tools and platforms that can network students into opportunities they lack exposure to. By “networking” them past their immediate geography and exposing them to certain professions and activities, we can surface ‘lost Einsteins’ and redress the ‘jagged landscape of opportunity facing America’. 

The Emotionally Intelligent Manager’s Guide To Leading Remote Teams

Addressing the workplace trend of remote employment, this article pinpoints empathy as the key ingredient to empowered remote employees. It is important to be clear, constant, and compassionate as a supervisor or employee in the remote business world. 

Facilitation Skills

Leaders are often called upon to facilitate meetings, but even the strongest and most effective leaders can still benefit from resources and tips for facilitation. While facilitation may not be an everyday part of your job, it’s important to be prepared when called upon to lead a meeting. Leadership Strategies has compiled a series of articles that range from basic explanations of what facilitators do to tips on how to build consensus, providing leaders with valuable resources to ensure their next meeting goes smoothly.

Gather: The Art and Science of Effective Convening

This guidebook sets out the most common building blocks of constructing a convening and offers a set of design principles, key questions, and customizable critical issues. It aims to strengthen capacity to create change through effective convenings. 

Healthy Schools Research: Presentation of Findings from Multiple Phases of Message Research

This study, conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides insights into how key audiences think about how schools and communities can take a holistic approach to students’ well-being and success. They present research findings from in-depth interviews with K-12 state, district, and out-of-school time leaders; focus groups with parents, teachers, and students; a national survey of public school parents and teachers; and in-depth interviews with business leaders. 

How is Network Leadership Different from Organizational Leadership and Why is Understanding This Difference Important?

Network leadership, unlike conventional leadership approaches, is collective, distributed, bottom-up, facilitative and emergent. Click here to ‘chart’ the differences between organizational and networking leadership.

How to Be Heard When You Aren’t the Loudest Voice in the Room

Meetings of all kinds and sizes can get off topic, and it can be difficult for any participant to get the group back on track. This can be hard for outgoing, talkative, and extroverted people, but it’s especially challenging for quieter introverts, who tend to not like to interrupt and aren’t as comfortable with thinking on their feet. An article on the website Quiet Revolution, which works to empower introverts in the workplace and the world, suggests tips for getting yourself heard in the room, including buying yourself time, making yourself heard through body language, coming prepared, and getting a little louder.

How to Find the Time to Invest in Long Term Relationship Building

This article suggests seven ways to use your network-building time well so that investing in long term relationships gives you the return you desire but think you don’t have time for. 

How words change minds: The science of storytelling

Nat Kendall-Taylor gives a Ted Talk about how we use culture to think and become better communicators. He explores implicit biases and the power of framing in order to direct group thinking. 

“If You’re Not Doing Something About It, You’re Part of the Problem”

At the recent Shift Forum, on business and technology leadership, Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and Janet Napolitano, President of The University of California system, expounded on the future of work amongst other topics. Bridging sectors and experiences, the influential pair talked policy and the intersection of technology, government, and diversity issues. 

Insights and Information from the Opportunity Youth/Boys and Men of Color Alignment Strategy Group

This report shares information developed by the Opportunity Youth/Boys and Men of Color Alignment Strategy Group to provide organizations with at-a-glance information about initiatives, leaders with hard-to-compile data, and funders and technical assistance providers with details that encourage collaboration. 

Leading Groups Online

A down-and-dirty guide to leading online courses, meetings, trainings, and events during the coronavirus pandemic.

Leading Systems Change: A Workbook for Community Practitioners and Funders 

Systems change often requires the cooperation and involvement of a broad network of community leaders. The Stanford Social Innovation Review shared an excerpt from a new resource, Leading Systems Change: A Workbook for Community Practitioners and Funders. 

Making Network-Based Strategy Work

Are you part of a local, state, or national network that aims to collectively achieve educational outcomes? Community Wealth Partners provides a useful field guide for Making Network-Based Strategy Work.

Making Teams More Collaborative

Have you thought about or implemented strategies to encourage and enable collaboration among team members? An article in Edutopia suggests advice on Making Teams More Collaborative

Mapping Moving Trains

This tool from the Collective Impact Forum provides a quick way to understand where there are overlaps and gaps among current initiatives and is useful for action planning among a coalition. 

The Networked University

Jeff Selingo published a new Pearson Report on “building alliances for innovation in higher education.” He advocates for U.S. colleges and universities to scale by joining together in alliances built around common problems, to gain the benefits of size without expanding their enrollment. He outlines a vision for linking multiple institutions to create a modern model of higher education. 

New Ways of Developing Leadership in a Highly Connected World

Network leadership strategies connect leaders across boundaries of race, sector, and geography and create an environment that builds and fosters trusted relationships. Read the full report.

Scaling Science

Using the ebola virus crisis as a case study, John Gargani & Robert McLean explain the importance of innovation, adaptability, and risk in science. Their research culminates in a four-part scaling theory that can be applied to decision-making in education settings.

Social Network Theory for Educational Change

Alan Daly’s book, Social Network Theory and Educational Change, addresses how social networks facilitate or impede educational change in schools. He focuses on teacher and other leader networks, and concludes with future directions on social network applications in education.

The Social Side of Education Reform 

The Albert Shanker Institute’s new video and materials on social networks focuses on understanding districts as complex systems. The resources call attention to the individual attributes of stakeholders, the importance of interdependencies at all levels of the system, and relationships within and across the overlapping networks of schools and districts.

The Missing Piece in Leadership Development (But Not in EPFP)

In this article, Jason Weeby of Education Pioneers suggests that one's leadership development can be strengthened through maintaining networks within the field. He recommends simple strategies for reaching out to others working in education reform in order to learn about new perspectives and resources. Read the full article.

Why Mentors Matter

Founder and CEO of Levo, Caroline Ghosn, shares how mentors helped her stay on track as a woman in the computer science field and insights on how to encourage current leaders to be mentors to the next generation

6 Rules of Leadership Networking

Understanding why developing a leadership network is an important first step in building that network. An article on the Center for Creative Leadership’s Leading Effectively blog outlines the great benefits of having a robust leadership network as well as six rules for effectively creating such a network, including being sincere, sharing resources, using power thoughtfully, communicating skillfully, being a savvy negotiator, and learning to manage conflict.







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