Whilst accepting that to‘let it descend into that sort of conversation… is very natural and very easy to get into’,the challenge is to move it to the next stage that‘requires somebody with their head on to say “try this, this is an interesting thing, could this bedeveloped?” and that encourages people to come forward with ideas’.The data presented below from some of the sub-networks in network oneillustrate the powerof experiential learning. Sharing ideas /picking brainsSome of the work involved bringing staff from different schools together to share ideas andwhat was described as ‘pick each others’brains’. This seemed to be different in kind from astraightforward dissemination mode. Here the process was more dialogic and seemed to bedriven by a more active reciprocity on which those attending engaged, not just out of curiosity,but out of a need to solve particular issues or to take forward developments in a particulararea of work.Coaching and joint workOther work embraced a more explicit capacity building approach in which a member of stafffrom the network team worked with and alongside staff from schools in the network. Oneparticularly arresting example concerned joint work with a ‘failing’ school to develop a PSHEprogramme and train staff who were to take the programme forward. Here the strong view ofthe person most involved in driving this work was that‘schools have got to build capacity totake on the work that they are learning about, otherwise it won’t work. They’ll just continuedoing everything as they always have done.’What was particularly interesting about the approach adopted was that the network memberof staff utilised a very rich, experientialform of engagement, not only at the ‘failing’ school butalso at her own school. Colleagues from the ‘failing’ school visited her school to get a feel forhow she worked in her own context. There was a recognition that whilst changing practicemight entail giving people ideas and encouraging people to ‘pick each others’ brains’ therewas also a strong insistence that this would never be enough:‘Giving people information toread about what we do is helpful. You can transfer facts that way and they’ve got somethingto refer to, but it’s more than that.Anyone seeking to change the daily realities of classroomshad to understand that ‘It’s not just about communication, it’s about giving people theopportunity to experience something.’Needs-led learningWithin some of the mini networks in Network twothere was a strong view that new learningarose from the need to sort out a problem. Effective networking was in other words needs-led.