If the thought leadership is completely new, you research and take in information as you can by casually talk to people where you seek career advice or testing your ideas with people you work with day to day in a casual setting of WHAT IF.
If you are a serious student, you join an innovation network that fosters high trust (external to your company or internal, where possible)
Within the circle of an innovation network you develop a personal strategy and your “stepping stones of practice” – in gentle phases that are thoughtfully initiated through high touch adapting as you go along based on feedback and learning.
You meet with people on a regular basis as a sounding board and in the formation of a learning network committed to action
What is different about this practice? (It’s a 18 month-3 year job strategy)
It requires balance --- you have to carefully look at how you use HR technology (infrastructure) supports you to initiate new processes with people (iteratively) and how it interplays with information along the way to build a knowledge management practice of sensemaking.
This is a hard practice to take on without belonging to a innovation group that you meet with as a matter of routine. (A local Stepping Stone Program associated with WorkEcology CoP) Where you actually document your own case study and live action research.
What are some reasonable expectations for today?
Your choices are:
You can permit yourself to be confused , overwhelmed like Jennifer Aniston and say you feel fine and it was a really good show while it lasted?
You can decide that you want to take this intro and quietly reflect about what was said to see if it makes sense with respect to your situation back on the job.
You can decide to become an innovator and lead a change by inviting others back at work to examine Core Group Theory and Practice as a movement of change for your company proceeding thoughtfully and strategically.
I began my career as part of an innovation group with the second HMO in the country, Harvard Community Health Plan where I fostered practices adopted through the HMO industry with respect to patient accessibility, introduction of automated medical record system and cross network program management.
Worked with Dr. Fernando Flores on understanding the impact of computers on the workplace and research on learning from MIT Media Lab through action learning on the job.
Involved in various jobs, consulting associations and more researching downsizing, virtual work practices and organization effectiveness where I also drew from my interest in organizational learning, corporate sustainability and governance follo
Incorporated the notion of social space as a virtual practice ---where my research focused on the social impact of the web on GeoStrategy and how people come together:
MIT Media Lab - Ideo Lab – product development
NBBJ – Jonah Salk Institute, Reebok, Boeing, Pac Rim NIH facility
Core Group: The group of people in any organization who set the direction of the enterprise, because decisions (from top to bottom of the hierarchy) are made on behalf of their perceived needs, desires, and priorities. The Core Group is “who really matters” in organizations, but not in communities.
Bureaucracy: A Core Group insulated from objective measures of its own performance. (Chapter 10: Welchism.)
Core Group enablers: People in organizations who adopt attitudes and practices that they know are wrong, but that keep dysfunctional Core Groups in place. (Chapter 15: Core Group Enablers.)
Core Group envy: Continual covetousness of Core Group status by those who don’t have it; leads to passive-aggressive behavior (by people inside organizations) or presumptuousness (by outsiders). (Chapter 6: Employees of Mutual Consent; Chapter 21: Management Consultants.)
Core Group feud: Phenomenon in which Core Group factions are most focused on beating or defeating each other; leads to paranoid, hebephrenic, and catatonic behavior at all levels of the hierarchy. (Chapter 18: Core Group Feuds and Maladaptive Companies.)
Employee of mutual consent : Anyone drawing a salary or other payment in an organization who is not a member of the Core Group. In most organizations, this includes 90% or more of the population. Employees of mutual consent are characterized by their contractual relationship. (Chapter 6: Employees of Mutual Consent.)
Amplification: The recurring phenomenon in which casual statements by Core Group members in an organization become louder, stronger, and more influential than anybody, including the speaker, ever intended. (Chapter 8: Guesswork.)
Equity: Any share of accumulated wealth, including such intangible forms of social capital as reputation and relationships; it also includes financial equity, organizational stock (conventional equity), the ability to “make rain,” credentials, capability, health, fitness, family, love awareness, sensitivity and spirit. Building up a diversified portfolio of equity is a prerequisite for dealing effectively with Core Group dynamics. (Chapter 16: A Portfolio of Equity.)
Expanded-Core Group organization: An organization deliberately designed so that decisions are made on behalf of all, or most, of the people working there. These tend to be either stifling bureaucracies, or great places to work. (Chapter 12: The Expanded-Core Group Organization.)
Guesswork: Habitual pattern of organizational behavior in which employees anticipate and estimate Core Group needs and priorities, rather than asking directly about them. (Chapter 8: Guesswork.)
Inner Core Group: Mental image or model, held by each individual, of those “on whose behalf I should make decisions.” Cultivating a mature inner Core Group is a highly effective strategy for dealing with dysfunctional Core Group dynamics – and building a life. (Chapter 14: Your Inner Core Group.)
Leadership: The ability to get others in an organization to confer legitimacy on you and thus put you in the Core Group. (Chapter 5: Power and Legitimacy.)
Legitimacy: The kind of power which derives from the consent of the governed. In organizations, legitimacy derives from the commitment of decision-makers. (Chapter 5: Power and Legitimacy.)
Noble purpose: The unfulfilled potential of an organization, or the destiny that it might fulfill on behalf of future generations or the broader world. When it is unseen by the Core Group, it will go unrealized. (Chapter 25: The Cycle of Noble Purpose.)
Parasitic Core Groups (a concept developed by Arie de Geus): Core Groups which serve their own self-interest at the expense of the natural functions of the host organization. During the 2001-2002 Christmas season, the collapse of Enron brought Parasitic Core Groups to international attention. (Chapter 17: Parasitic Core Groups.)
Shadow Core Group: A group within an organization that has assembled itself as a practice body to hold and develop alternative ways of thinking and acting that the real Core Group could adapt or adopt some day. (Chapter 23: The Shadow Core Group.)
Welchism: A management approach based on streamlining bureaucratic organizations by reshaping the Core Group into a smaller, leaner, more performance-driven entity. (Chapter 10: Welchism.)
a a a “ We give them legitimacy.” “ They give us direction.” Employees Core Group
Time-Frame for “Noble Purpose” Instant 3 mos-2 years 25+ years
Now what happens, if a Core Group considers the Cycle of Noble Purpose (the unfulfilled mission)?
The Core group will examines:
The conversations and civil transformation going on in Society that is in motion and change all of the time.
The importance of opening and working a strategy based on a futures scenario .
What it takes to spark multi-cultural, multi expert conversations with stakeholder groups by creating a dialogue on the Commons of Imagination;
The role of dialogue and the kinds of dialogue that spark builds cooperative change initiatives through knowledge sharing, debate, reflection & generative conversations);
The investment and intangible return on investment of the time it takes to work change initiatives.
Now what does all of this have to do with high performance?
Let’s step back for a minute and review some of the commonly known facts about organization since that have emerged since the 1980’s.
Fewer than 15% of people who go through a professional development or training experience are able to apply what they learn in the classroom back on the job.
Virtual Teams are volatile and chaotic and a heavy investment;
The idea of a lifelong job with benefits and pension began to disappear in the 1980’s.
Most people will now change careers 3-5 times until they retire;
With the cost of health insurance and increasing pressure on personal spending and decline in savings, most people may not be able to retire.
Innovation is hard to replicate
Technology introduction never goes the same
People in their neighborhoods grasp differently
Companies to Look @ Part 2 Intense environment with steep goals where need for balance supported w/in teams Alvin Toeffler’s model for ATT Divestiture Decentralized work effectiveness facilitators who are part of the business unit Centralized finanical and HR systems infrastructure IDG Successful Rebranding – Strong Leadership (Sir John Browne) Navigated waters for celebration and rough edges Aligned with Alvin Toeffler & Charles Handy’s future models Centralized infrastructure with decentralized work effectiveness experts with scientific background Strong Knowledge Management Infrastructure which supported decentralized global change British Petroleum rebranding to BP Layoff Spiral has morphed into Compaq and now HP Attitude may be the same w/ a different time in History Classic Pfeffer Downward Spiral Decentralized with very little centralized infrastructure and no workforce planning Founders Syndrome with Tight Financial Controlls Digital Equipment Corporation Comment Process Human Resource Description Core Group Pattern Company
Companies to Look @ 2 Starting slowly and will be a learning lab of innovation for Booz Allen Hamilton Analysis Pilot change and invest in it slowly unclear at this time Drawn from Public and Private Sector cross industry, - medical care, insurance, & science MA Ehealth Initiative – Mass Medical Society, BCBS Foundation, & other groups This is still new and it is unfolding and remarkable in that it oriented around quality of care, social policy, law, legislation and patient need. Operates as a social network with open review of stakeholder needs (consumers, best practice science & representation from other stakeholders IDG like – mentoring other autonomous groups Private & Public Partnership Faster Cures and related organizations Outperforming competitor Increased sales Renewal of company morale across the board Redesign of architecture brought leadership and project management to the manufacturing floor Centralized infrastructure and work effectiveness team trained in core group theory Aggressively working corporate governance issues while pushing responsibility cross a broad range of stakeholders Boeing Comment Process Human Resource Description Core Group Pattern Company
Who are the actual people really thinking about the impact of all of this on our future?
Approx. Time Frame Futurists
1986 The Adaptive Corp. Alvin Toeffler
1991 The Age of Unreason Charles Handy
1995 The End of the Job Jeremy Rifkin
1995 Bionomics Michael Rothschild
2001 When Corporations David Korten
Rule the World
2001 Great Transition Tellus Institute
The Promise & Lure of the Time Ahead
Where are the resources for doing something and how?
Where do people come from to form a A Social Network? Based on the thinking of William Stern, Arie de Geus, and Lavinia Weissman Freelancer SOCIETY SOCIETY
2. Nation 3. Tribe 4. Family 5. Individual 1. Corporation 2. Company 3. Division 4. Workgroup 5. Team Small Business Outsource Contractor
Who and What Do Core Groups Rely on to Carry out a Mission?
This is the invisible infrastructure always in motion with respect to change and culture.
Interplay of Organizational Structures Light grey boxes show the formal hierarchy. Stars depict Core Group members, legitimate symbols of direction (Clan). Arrows show work flow and the return of money from customers (Market). Dotted lines show the informal paths by which knowledge travels (Network). Each individual is defined by a variety of relationships. The OD/OE manager is not only “plugged in” but influential - but not directly involved in the production process. The Regional Manager is a key hub in the work network, but not a Core Group member. Etc. Union Leader Board Member CEO “ Gate-keeper” to key production process OD/OE Manager Regional Manager Customers A/R
We now know that how organizations come to life is through culture:
“ In Who Really Matters, Art Kleiner argues…..that the dissonance between a declared mission and actual operation can be seen at organizations large and small. All organizations have one motive in common. Every decision – which projects back whom to promote, or how to spend money, is affected by the perceived wants and needs of a Core Group of people “who really matter”.”
“ If we are going to act effectively in society of organizations, we need a theory that helps us see organizations clearly, as they are. We need to observe this new species in its natural habitat, to track its behavior and, to study its relationships with predators and prey. (the social network).
Only then can we learn to use organizations, instead of feeling like we are be used by them. Only then can we move organizations away from being simply the property and tools of the few, and develop their potential for the rest of us. Only then can we form relationships with the members of this new species, as employees, neighbors, co-creators, participants, leaders, and even lovers of organization.”
You can then achieve balance in organizational design that considers the needs of all stakeholder who participate in the Social Network. You can then build your GEOSTRATEGY of use space in service of the Social Network.
The decline of employee confidence reported by the Hudson Index on Employee Satisfaction reflect this. www.hudson-index.com
According to Pfeffer:
“ The source of economic success is largely based on a perspective that sees the development of people-based strategies where the implementation of strategy is measured by measuring operational excellence, customer satisfaction and product and service delivery rather than looking at the success of the strategy.”
Without this, the Core Group does not have the knowledge from which to make decisions-----------so that assets that are manufactured by people within a social network
provide the knowledge from which core groups can serve the social network conversations where learning grows into the knowledge out of which people act productively.
As Karen Stephenson would say, the social network gets what it wants and what has emerged is new thinking on corporate governance, sustainability and compensation---e.g. Exec. Pay.
It is slow and an iterative process. We have been talking about pay for performance since 1980’s and fewer than 1/3 of companies actually reward this way.
What is unique about Karen’s work & the Netform ASP (knowledge bank)?
What concretely happens in a social network and what grows out of a shared work practice across stakeholders. (this is more important than teams and was addressed by BP’s web based knowledge archive) ?
Identifies the value of what people may not know (e.g. Pfeffers case study on Apple)?
What decision makers (core group members) need to know about their employees and how this influences shareholder value?
What are the dynamics of knowledge generation that influence workflow and therefore high performance?
(With whom do you exchange information as part of your daily work routines?) The everyday contacts of routinized operations represent the habitual, mundane “resting pulse” of a culture. “The functions and dysfunctions; the favors and flaws always become evident here,”
(With whom do you “check in,” inside and outside the office, to find out what is going on?) This is important primarily as an indicator of the trust within a culture. Healthy organizations are those whose numbers fall within a normative range, with enough social “tensile strength” to withstand stress and uncertainty, but not so much that they are overdemanding of people’s personal time and invested social capital.
(With whom do you collaborate or kick around new ideas?) There is a guilelessness and childlike wonderment to conversations conducted in this network, as people talk openly about their perceptions, ideas, and experiments. For instance, “Why do we use four separate assembly lines where three would do?” Or, “Hey, let’s try it and see what happens!” Key people in this network take a dim view of tradition and may clash with the keepers of corporate lore and expertise, dismissing them as relics.
(To whom do you turn for expertise or advice?) Organizations have core networks whose key members hold the critical and established, yet tacit, knowledge of the enterprise. Like the Coca-Cola formula, this kind of knowledge is frequently kept secret. Key people in this network are often threatened by innovation; they’re likely to clash with innovators and think of them as “undisciplined.”
(Whom do you go to for advice about the future?) If people tend to rely on others in the same company for mentoring and career guidance, then that in itself indicates a high level of trust. This network often directly influences corporate strategy; decisions about careers and strategic moves, after all, are both focused on the future.
(Whom do you work with to improve existing processes or methods?) Key people in this network may end up as bridges between hubs in the expert and innovation networks, translating between the old guard and the new. Since most people are afraid of genuine change, this network tends to lie dormant until the change awakens a renewed sense of trust. “It takes a tough kind of love,” says Professor Stephenson, “to entrust people to tell you what they know about your established habits, rules, and practices.”
Which of these types of networking activities require the most trust and why?
The purpose of the exercises in each instance would be to learn how to organize a sales pitch for a decision making group that has not thought about the social networks at play within their partnership or organization and invite them to invest in people .
Description of Sales Pitch: As an HR strategist/work effectiveness facilitator or staff consultant – you are selling your C-Level management on the investment of time for a work effectiveness program that includes 1 day a month for the social network of an internal group to meet, your time for building the program (communications, needs assessment and one on one meetings with all members of the group), etc.
The conditions that surround preparation of this budget and pitch are:
1. Your organization has come to recognize through either through initiating a Sarbanes Oxley, Corporate Governance Program or Corporate Social Responsibility Program that your company is effected by a broad range of stakeholders the Core Group did not previously consider in its day to day activities.
2. Your company has come to recognize that a dominant expertise has narrowed the focus of your company and built a mechanical culture that does not invite participation and innovation. That dominant expertise could be a professional group (e.g. finance, physicians, scientists, technologists) and as part of your pitch you are going to need to outline the value of other skills and competencies and reasons for experts to actually engage in learning that recognizes a multi-cultural, multi-expert, broad group of stakeholders. 3. Your company has developed a futures scenario that is proactive and pushing rebranding or your company is encountering a crisis in the market place, --- rising health care premiums, environmental hazards or core group misbehavior (e.g. Lawrence Summers at Harvard or Schoepenauer or Boeing). Before you start to work identify the Core Group Pattern, Stakeholders, & Social Network factors (archetypes and types)