INF537: Networks within systems

Systems versus network visual representation

INF537 and this piece by George Siemens has prompted me to reflect on the differences between systems and networks and whether a system constrains a learning network.

As I run work-based training the options for the training I run are very limited by the systems available to me. For my students, their networks are limited as they are often learning things very unique to work that they cannot talk about publicly. So it appears as though the system is very much constraining the networks.

So how can I help networks at work to flourish?

I need to focus on promoting networks within the confined system. There is plenty to be gained through internal connections and through engagement with the outside world, even though the scope is limited. If eventually the networks have no room to grow, like a confined pot plant, the organisation will have to decide whether to move it to a bigger pot and therefore provide better tools for networking or more freedom to discuss our work or be happy with the plant only reaching a certain size.

3 illustrated pot plantsSource: Flickr