Networking Matters – the role of networking in good governance
In this article Fiona Stagg, a National Leader of Governance shares how networking is one of the many tools by which governors can demonstrate that they are committed to their own development. Networking takes many forms and has many benefits. It takes effort and planning but can be extremely worthwhile both for the individual and the board. It does not have to be costly but it does need investment in terms of time and effort.
What is networking?
Networking is about developing new relationships with other groups and individuals outside our own boards and curating those relationships and connections within it. If your board only works in isolation and no one attends training or events then how can it truly know how effective it is being? Networking can play a key part in helping us look outwards from our own boards and provide opportunities to collaborate.
Some networking opportunities, like attending conferences or briefings, give you the chance to meet governors from other schools across the country or local authority; others like being part of a local cluster of schools or a Multi Academy Trust offer the opportunity to network with people who share your vision and values.
Networks can be virtual too and there are many governor and clerking networks on social media. Such networks provide a great opportunity for you to ask questions, share ideas and gain different insights. They also offer immediacy when needed.
Many Local Authorities have Governor Associations – are you a member of yours? If there isn’t one locally think about setting one up.
Benefits of networking
There are many benefits to be gained from networking bothy for governors and boards.
Why does being part of a network matter?
As governors we can no longer govern in isolation. Being part of a network of schools, such as local collaboration, or part of a MAT, gives us many opportunities to meet and share with others. The impact of these networks on our governance practice is something which we should be asking questions about. Being part of a network of governors on social media gives the chance to ask questions from people who are governing in other parts of the country.
At GovernorSpace we provide a service to put you in touch with governors in a strategic way. By completing your profile for Governor Connect you can search for governors to share and discuss issues with. By selecting criteria in your search you can make sure that the Governors you get in contact with have the skills and experience that are relevant to you.
Successful networking requires active participation.
It is good practice to report back to the board on any training or networking event you attend.
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