I am more and more interested in using Net-Map as a learning tool to support strategic decisions. For example: “Where should our organization be in 10 years and how do we get there?” It’s quite likely that you will find a lot of (different) answers to this question within and around your organization. So why not go and ask?
Well, who should go and ask? I have been supporting a lot of research projects where we would typically train interviewers who go out to the field, collect the data, give us some kind of draft analysis and then we go and do the magic. But when it comes to using Net-Map to discuss strategic issues with high level idividuals, it doesn’t make sense to send out trained facilitators with little personal interest in the results.
I say: Let the big guy do it!
Or the big lady. Someone who needs these questions answered and has the authority to do something with the results. Because this person will be able to not just mechanically follow the interview guideline and draw links but lead the discussion to a higher level and ask the questions that are really worth asking. S/he will learn new things from interview to interview and incorporate or test the views seen in the last interview in the discussion of the next one. And all this combined knowledge will directly feed into strategic decisions – without being watered down by a number of data collectors and analysers. Another plus: If the interview partners are chosen strategically, the big guy/lady can use the Net-Map session to discuss and initiate partnerships needed to achieve the visions discussed.