Exercise: Creating Developmental Networks

Key Phrases:

  • The power of developmental networks
  • “Knowing thyself” and knowing your context
  • Enlisting developers, regularly re‐assessing

This exercise is based on the Developmental Network Model by Professor Kathy Kram, PhD (Boston University School of Management) and adapted for academic medicine by Jean Emans, MD (Boston Children’s Hospital Office of Faculty Development), Maxine Milstein, MBA (Boston Children’s Hospital Office of Faculty Development), Ellen Seely, MD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Medicine Faculty Development Office) and Audrey Haas, MBA (Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Faculty Development and Diversity).

This exercise takes you through the process of creating your own developmental network chart and map using templates and samples as guides. Consider using this or a similar tool in your program with your mentee.

Before beginning, take a moment and read “A New Approach to Mentoring” by Kathy Kram and Monica Higgins.

Instructions on Completing the Exercise

  1. Download the exercise packet, which includes these instructions, blank templates, and samples.
  2. Identify individuals in your developmental network, i.e., those who fall into one or more of the following three types of relationships. (Those who fall into more than one type should be listed more than once.)
    • People who help you get the job done (through provision of important information, introductions, scientific or technical advice, professional expertise, or other resources).
    • People who advance your career (through career guidance and direction, arranged exposure to critical people, political advice, helping you get important opportunities or assignments, advice on promotion criteria or funding opportunities, and/or advocating for you).
    • People who give you personal support, i.e., those to whom you go for your emotional well‐being and psycho‐social support, and with whom you can be yourself.
  3. Complete the developmental network chart.
  4. Use your completed chart to create your developmental network map.
  5. After completing the exercise, read the Learning Pearls on Developmental Networks.

Suggested Reading:

Establishing Effective Mentoring Networks: Rationale and Strategies.
Christou H, Dookeran N, Haas A, Di Frances C, Emans SJ, Milstein ME, Kram KE, Seely EW. MedEdPORTAL Publications, April 2017;13:10571.