ViOne participated in an event in the House of Dutch Provinces – Brussels on 11 December 2023

WHY DO NETWORKS FAIL? – Tools, methodologies and lessons out of practice in sustaining networks to thrive.

Since there has been trace of the humankind existence, networks have been an invincible part of society. Without even realizing it, we as people tend to belong to diverse networks, currently one of the most efficient and effective forms for making an impact and generating value.

However, recent data shows that 78% of all established networks fade away within 1 to 2 years’ time and 92% over 3 years’ time. So what is needed for a network to evolve further?

De Haagse Hogeschool (The Hague University of Applied Sciences) organized an event in the House of Dutch Provinces – Brussels, at the beginning of the week, to answer this question. After opening words by professor Liliya Terzieva (THUAS), Rob van Eijkeren (House of the Dutch Provinces) and Loes Rutten (UASNL), the group of over 50 participants was divided over three workshops. One was delivered by Anja Overdiek, called ‘Mountain View – Regain your breath and make space for overview’. Heleen Geerts delivered the workshop ‘Labtalk arena – encounter fire between different interests’ and Armand van Oostrom delivered a session on ‘Systemic co-design in developing entrepreneurial ecosystems growth’.  

A panel discussion on thriving networks followed with Montse Badia Serrano (DG RTD G3 – Common Strategic Planning & Programming Service), Koen Vervoort (ENOLL), Frank Evers (Expertise Network Systemic Co-design & Inholland UAS) and Isabelle Vandevyvere, and moderated by Liliya Terzieva.

Here some of the insights of the event:

  • There is a certain lack of a CLEAR MESSAGE of where a network aims at or strives for
  • Not being able to arrive at a level of COMMON LANGUAGE – “lost in translation”
  • LONG TERM VISION, time is often underestimated as a factor and thus networks fall into a trap of either aiming at quick wins or not having the PATIENCE to wait to come to fruition
  • Insufficient level of TRUST and thus bonding becomes questionable
  • The initiators lose the initial drive and MOTIVATION with time without having managed to inspire like-minded and “infect” others with PASSION
  • HANDLE COMPLEXITY, both of the interactions that a network requires as well as of the issues at stake
  • ENJOY, not losing the “fun” and “playful” element
  • BE PERSISTENT, being resistant to experimentation and/or failure and thus not eager to accept the “failing-forward” principle
  • AWARENESS, when the network needs to remain open and when it is a necessity to become closed
  • PERSISTENCY, not start from scratch but be willing to build upon what others have already achieved or from the state they already have reached
  • OPEN MINDED, accepting each other’s perspectives and being open to them
  • COLLISION, allowing clash of perspectives
  • KNOWLEDGE and RESPECT for each other’s culture, rituals, routines and opinions
  • CURIOSITY about others, having interest in each other
  • REFRAME, moving back and forth to transitions and innovation
  • PRIORITY, put emphasis on the issue, rather than continuously aiming at a solution
  • Accept UNCERTAINTY as part of the network’s DNA
  • FLEXIBILITY, skipping the plan, and accept “we are learning here together”

Do you agree? Please, let us know what makes your network thrive! 

#THUAS #networking #vision #communication