Embrace the Power of Organizational Networks to Improve Performance

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Today’s highest performing organizations have realized that they must be connected and collaborative within their own ranks, as well as with their stakeholders and partners. By understanding and …

Today’s highest performing organizations have realized that they must be connected and collaborative within their own ranks, as well as with their stakeholders and partners. By understanding and empowering connections among employees, customers, and partners, connected organizations are better able to rapidly collect, analyze, and share business and mission intelligence while outperforming and outlasting organizations that remain stovepiped and bureaucratically compartmentalized.

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  • 1. STR ATEGY & ORG ANIZ ATION | TECHNOLOGY | ENGINEERING & OPER ATIONS | A N A LY T I C SAbout Booz AllenBooz Allen Hamilton is Getting Connecteda leading provider ofmanagement and technology Embrace the Power of Organizational Networks toconsulting services to theUS government in defense, Improve Performanceintelligence, and civil markets, The consequences of failed collaboration are far reaching. A multimillion-dollar IT moderniza-and to major corporations, tion falls short of its promise because managers and employees sub-optimize its function-institutions, and not-for-profit ality. Financial analysts in regulatory agencies do not collaborate and thus fail to detect theorganizations. Booz Allen is onset of a crisis in the mortgage lending industry. A large federal agency struggles with aheadquartered in McLean, major reorganization because newly realigned units are unable to fully integrate their opera-Virginia, employs more than tions. These familiar examples are drawn from today’s headlines and all share a common25,000 people, and had denominator: They are in large part the result of a failure in the organizational network. Theserevenue of $5.59 billion various networks determine how effectively members of an organization can share informa-for the 12 months endedMarch 31, 2011. (NYSE: BAH) tion and insights, work across departmental boundaries, and embrace or reject new ideas. Today’s highest performing organizations have realized that they must be connected andFor more information contact collaborative within their own ranks, as well as with their stakeholders and partners. ByJack Mayer understanding and empowering connections among employees, customers, and partners,Executive Vice President connected organizations are better able to rapidly collect, analyze, and share business andmayer_jack@bah.com mission intelligence while outperforming and outlasting organizations that remain stovepiped703-917-2127 and bureaucratically compartmentalized. Being a connected organization means seniorRon Sanders leaders can focus on strategic issues while allowing capable subordinates to make routineSenior Executive Advisor decisions; employees can reduce duplicative work and instead build on the existing effortssanders_ron@bah.com of other teams; and individuals who recognize bottlenecks between departments can work703-984-0016 together to identify solutions.Facebook.com/boozallen Formal Organization Collaboration NetworkTwitter.com/boozallen Department Department Head HeadYouTube.com/boozallen Strategy Manager AnalyticsLinkedIn.com/company/ Strategy Technology Analytics Managerbooz-allen-hamilton Manager Manager Manager A1 S1Flickr.com/photos/boozallen S1 T1 A1 S3 A2www.boozallen.com S2 Technology S2 T2 A2 Manager S3 T1 T2 The chart on the left is a typical organizational chart. Within it are hidden networks—the networks within which work is performed. The right is a true collaboration network. Booz Allen Can Help You Be Ready for What’s Next Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading strategy and technology consulting firm, works with clients to help them become more connected and collaborative in a strategic, mission-oriented way. A connected organization utilizes internal social networks by harnessing the strengths of existing informal networks and deliberately architecting solutions to network weaknesses. Ready for what’s next. www.boozallen.com
  • 2. The first step toward creating a connected organization is understanding the informal socialnetworks that reflect how work actually gets done. By applying Organizational NetworkAnalysis (ONA), Booz Allen helps clients identify the underlying factors that can hold anorganization back or enable it to perform efficiently and adapt to new challenges. ONAenables leaders to quickly understand the real structure of an organization—mission-criticalinterpersonal networks and key external actors—customers, oversight committees, allies,adversaries, reporters, and regulators.How Connected Is Your Organization?Connected organizations contain networks that enable workers to connect efficiently andeffectively to get work done. Connected organizations can adapt to changing demands andovercome inefficiencies without overwhelming leaders’ time and capabilities.Booz Allen helps clients consider the followingquestions: Networks > Organizational Charts “Experienced network managers who• Do geographical or organizational boundaries can use maps to identify, leverage, and hinder communication or collaboration in your revamp informal networks will become organization? increasingly valuable as companies continue to flatten and rely on teams.• Do factions, tribes, or distinct cultures have As organizations abandon hierarchical trouble working together? structures, managers will have to rely less on the authority inherent in their• Are technical or administrative experts over- or title and more on their relationships under-tasked? Do employees know how to with players in their informal networks. easily find the right people to answer their Understanding relationships will be the key to managerial success.” questions? — David Krackhardt• Do employees trust or distrust certain leaders? Member of the Booz Allen Center Do you know why? for Connected Organizations & Jeffrey Hanson• Who are the key bridges and knowledge “Informal Networks: brokers? What would happen if they left? The Company Behind the Chart” Harvard Business ReviewRepresentative Client ExperienceBooz Allen has helped its clients make invisible networks visible, allowing them to unlock thepower of connections and create a more efficient organization.• One DoD client improved interorganizational collaboration by bringing representatives of geographically separated organizations together for training purposes. Booz Allen conducted ONAs before, during, and after the training course and provided quantitative metrics describing the resulting interorganizational connections.• In anticipation of an organizational restructuring, Booz Allen helped a large financial institution identify the individuals central to connecting otherwise disconnected divisions. These findings, augmenting a knowledge management effort, enabled the organization to harness these connections in the newly reorganized structure.• A large multi-agency, multi-contractor project was failing to meet deadlines. Booz Allen’s ONA revealed that communication and collaboration among contractors was occurring horizontally, in peer-to-peer fashion, while government organizations were collaborating vertically, from leader to leader. The resulting “culture clash” was creating friction and hindering performance until, armed with this new information, project stakeholders addressed the issue.Whether you’re managing today’s issues or looking beyond the horizon, count on us to helpyou be ready for what’s next.10.146.11