Sustaining our networks - in a locked down world

By Dr Karen Janman

When we talk about building and sustaining a network, many of us think of warmly shaking new hands, spending work and social time with some of our most trusted contacts, and finding opportunities to start projects and share ideas, perhaps with new markets, partners and customers. 

But how feasible is that within the current global context that is characterised by such seemingly constricting and constraining terms as lockdown, quarantine and social isolation

Many of Cranfield’s clients will have heard us talk in programmes and workshops about the 3 B’s (Bonding, Bridging and Brokering) of effective networks.  Interestingly these can provide a powerful framework for active planning, not just in the more open world that we knew only a few couple of months ago, but also in the very challenging context that most of us find ourselves in right now. 

There has never been a more important time to map and plan your networkHave you ever walked in a garden early on a frosty or dewy morning (perhaps on your permitted daily exercise outing) and seen the beauty of an intricate spider’s web?  That carefully crafted structure represents the spider’s art and efforts – but usually goes unnoticed.

For many of us, our networks are structures that we take for granted or consider only occasionally.  And for most us, remain invisible.  However, if we can visualise our networks, then we can truly engage with them and reap the benefits of the 3 key dimensions summarised in the article below.

Download this thought leadership article to gain:

  • The 3 B’s of effective networks

  • Why it is imperative to map and plan your network in the current environment

  • Useful questions and suggestions to help get you started




About the Author: Opinion Piece

Dr. Karen Janman is a Faculty Associate at Cranfield School of Management and the Managing Director of Janman Consulting Ltd. Karen has an Oxford doctorate as well as extensive  experience in research, consultancy and lecturing. She is a Registered and Chartered Occupational Psychologist with 30 years experience operating as consultant, business coach and company director.  She has co-authored a book on social capital “The Leadership Illusion”. Karen is particularly skilled at working with senior leaders in the coaching and team development arena.

Tags: leadership, entrepreneurship, article