Trust and Networks

Critical thinking by our colleagues, Alumni from Web of Change.

Trust and Networks

Trust makes networks work. When trust is high among members of a network, there’s a wonderful cohesiveness and capacity to get work done. When trust is low and relationships are plagued by suspicion, networks collapse into brittle organizational structures that rarely offset their operational costs in real world outcomes.

Trust builds living networks that are highly resilient, flexible and efficient. People who trust each other more easily forgive each other for the bumps that inevitably arise from working together. That’s network resilience. When people trust each other, it’s easier to respond to change in a smart, coordinated way. That’s network flexibility. Trust also reduces red tape, which lowers the cost of collaboration. That’s network efficiency.

Summary Points:

  • Trust builds living networks that are highly resilient, flexible and efficient.
  • Networks are voluntary connections between autonomous peers.
  • Networks are the connections that allow peers to work together.
  • In networks, there is no external controlling force.
  • The relationship is the “net” that supports “work” in the network.
  • Trust is the lubricant that supports relationships and makes a network work.
  • “Trust” is remaining open in the face of vulnerability.
  • When we enshrine mutual respect as a core principle of the network, we make it easier for new connections to happen.
  • We must safeguard trust to ensure that autonomy is not abused in a network.

Full article online at:

Gideon Rosenblatt