Leveraging Social Networks to Accelerate Change


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Presentation for the Midwest Talent Management Forum, 9/25/2009.

More: http://partneringresources.com/organizational-networks-and-organization-performance/

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  • Why does this matter?
  • Ordinary organizational chart   Example: Jane as a quality analyst
  • Maps work network: how do people actually get work done Lines represent frequency of relationship Jane has 10 connections
  • Organizational DNA
  • From Karen: “The first archetype, the Hub, is the most intuitive as in a hub and spoke system. This pattern rapidly disseminates information and centralizes work processes. Hubs can be highly social (although they don’t have to be) and know how to directly connect one on one with the most people. By force of habit, they are excellent multi-taskers and often connect people for the sheer joy of connecting.” Rob Cross: “More apt to be interested than interesting.” Centrality: “Extent to which a person is in the center of a network” (Ehrlich & Carboni (200x): “Inside Social Network Analysis”) To communicate a message to 500 employees, task Hubs with deploying the message
  • From Karen: “The second archetype, the Gatekeeper, pops up on critical pathways because it can either create or loosen bottlenecks. Gatekeepers live by the rule “less is more.” Very strategic, they make it their business to know the “right” people and only the “right” people. They are judicious, circumspect, and judgmental. In a healthy organization, they are extremely useful in making sure the right people are connected to move projects and objectives along.” To communicate a message to 500 employees, engage Gatekeepers to make sure the message gets through
  • Find only through algorithms – can’t see from the maps From Karen: “The third archetype, the Pulsetaker, is someone who is connected to almost everyone via indirect routes. This is the most abstract of the three positions. Pulsetakers are the Machiavellis of the world, behind-the-scenes, in-between, and unseen persons. They know how to get to the right people using indirect means. In this way, their influence is hard to detect and often overlooked.” Quality, not quanitity To communicate a message to 500 employees, check in with Pulsetakers after 3 months to confirm that the message travelled accurately and successfully. If you haven’t sent the message to them, but they get it, you’ll know it was successful
  • 2002 Watson Wyatt study: Three-year TRS (total returns to shareholder) rates are significantly higher at companies with high trust levels.   Good news: In companies with effective HR, employees are much more likely (62%) to have high trust levels than in companies without effective HR (8%).
  • Not just me as Expert Draw on our own network here: experts, improvement Pose questions generally
  • Leveraging Social Networks to Accelerate Change

    1. 1. 2009 Midwest Forum on Talent Management Madison, Wisconsin September 25, 2009 Presenter: Maya Townsend, Founder Partnering Resources How Work Really Gets Done Leveraging Social Networks to Accelerate Change
    2. 2. The Point <ul><li>Companies can change more efficiently, </li></ul><ul><li>more effectively, </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>less painfully </li></ul><ul><li>by tapping into existing hidden networks. </li></ul>Image: Partnering Resources
    3. 3. What is a network?
    4. 4. What is a Network? Networks are about movement Computer networks move data from location to location Public transportation networks help people travel in cities The circulatory system carries oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from our cells
    5. 5. The Simplest Work Network Sam knows how to answer the question so Mary connects you to Sam Human networks are also all about movement: The movement of information You have a question You ask Mary at the next desk She doesn’t know the answer and calls Sam for advice Problem solved!
    6. 6. People Form Networks within Teams
    7. 7. More People, More Complexity
    8. 8. When We Work Only With Formal Systems… Jane is at the individual contributor level on the org chart
    9. 9. … We Miss the Networks Jane is a critical connector in this network
    10. 10. Activity: Inside the Network <ul><li>What is it like to be inside a network? Let’s see! </li></ul>
    11. 11. Qualities of Networks <ul><li>Healthy networks can… </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt quickly to change. </li></ul><ul><li>Withstand stress. </li></ul><ul><li>Reorganize without significantly affecting productivity. </li></ul><ul><li>Diffuse information easily. </li></ul><ul><li>Grow quickly. </li></ul>Case studies: Plastrik & Taylor (2006) and Evans & Wolf (2005).
    12. 12. The Secret to Managing Networks: Critical Connectors <ul><li>Identified by Dr. Karen Stephenson </li></ul><ul><li>Exist in all networks </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Connectors comprise only 5% of the network </li></ul><ul><li>Three Critical Connectors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hubs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gatekeepers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pulsetakers </li></ul></ul>Image: © 2005 NetForm, Inc. Used with permission.
    13. 13. The Hub <ul><li>Highly and directly connected with many people </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate and disseminate knowledge through the organization </li></ul>Gary Harry Patty Paula
    14. 14. The Gatekeeper <ul><li>Serve as links between departments, functions, and groups </li></ul><ul><li>Act as information gateways </li></ul><ul><li>Broker knowledge between critical parts of the organization </li></ul>Gary Harry Patty Paula
    15. 15. The Pulsetaker <ul><li>Have maximum influence using minimum number of direct contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Work through indirect means </li></ul>Gary Harry Patty Paula
    16. 16. It’s Not Just the Grapevine Social Decision-Making Innovation Expertise Improvement
    17. 17. What do networks have to do with change?
    18. 18. Table Discussion <ul><li>How do informal relationships and information paths affect change initiatives in your organization? </li></ul><ul><li>How have informal relationships and information paths helped change efforts in your organization succeed? </li></ul><ul><li>How have informal relationships and information paths hindered change efforts ? </li></ul><ul><li>Be ready to report out on discussion highlights. </li></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>What does the research say about networks and change? </li></ul>
    20. 20. Higher Trust Organizations Earn Greater Returns for Shareholders Data: Watson Wyatt (2002): WorkUSA® 2002. Networks represent trust relationships Healthy networks have greater levels of trust
    21. 21. Information Sharing is Crucial for Growth Data: Cross, Martin, & Weiss, McKinsey Quarterly, 2006. “ Coordination across organizational lines is crucial for growth.” “ Our organization effectively shares knowledge across boundaries.” Percentage of executives in McKinsey poll responding positively to question.
    22. 22. Successful Projects Have Stronger Leadership Networks <ul><li>93% of completely successful change initiatives were led by people with very strong / strong personal networks </li></ul><ul><li>73% of less successful change initiatives were led by people with moderate / weak networks </li></ul>Data: NEHRA / Partnering Resources study (2009).
    23. 23. <ul><li>What can you do to harness the power of networks on your next change initiative? </li></ul>
    24. 24. Next Steps <ul><li>Understand the organization’s networks </li></ul>
    25. 25. Next Steps <ul><li>Build strong personal networks </li></ul>
    26. 26. Next Steps <ul><li>Leverage networks consciously to support change </li></ul>Image: Nancy Margulies (www.nancymargulies.com)
    27. 27. Let’s Leverage our Networks! <ul><li>What stands out as most relevant to your work? </li></ul><ul><li>How could network dynamics help your organization? </li></ul><ul><li>What questions do you have? </li></ul>Image: Nancy Margulies (www.nancymargulies.com)
    28. 28. References <ul><li>Articles & Research </li></ul><ul><li>Cross, R., Borgatti, S.P., & Parker, A. (Winter 2002). “Making Invisible Work Visible: Using Social Network Analysis to Support Strategic Collaboration.” California Management Review. </li></ul><ul><li>Cross, Martin, & Weiss (2006). “Mapping the Value of Employee Collaboration. McKinsey Quarterly . </li></ul><ul><li>Kleiner, A. (2002). “Karen Stephenson’s Quantum Theory of Trust.” strategy + business. Available at www.strategy-business.com . </li></ul><ul><li>Plastrik & Taylor (2006). “Net Gains: A Handbook for Network Builders.” Available at www.barrfoundation.org/resources/resources_show.htm?doc_id=436179 . </li></ul><ul><li>Stephenson, K. (2005). “Trafficking in Trust.” In Enlightened Power (Coughlin, Wingard, & Hollihan, ed.). Available at www.drkaren.us/KS_publications01.htm. </li></ul><ul><li>Townsend, M. (2009). “A Failed Succession Story.” Available at www.tinyurl.com/956vfm . </li></ul><ul><li>Townsend, M. (2008). “The Three Most Important Positions You Don’t Know About Yet.” Available at www.partneringresources.com/resources.html. </li></ul><ul><li>Evans & Wolf (2005). “Collaboration Rules.” Harvard Business Review. </li></ul><ul><li>Watson Wyatt (2002). WorkUSA® 2002. Available at www.watsonwyatt.com/research/resrender.asp?id=ONL011&page=1 . </li></ul><ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>Anklam, P. (2007). Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World. </li></ul><ul><li>Cohen, D. & Prusak, L. (2001). In Good Company: How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work . </li></ul><ul><li>Cross, R., & Parker, A. (2004). The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Local Resource </li></ul><ul><li>Stephanie Sobczak, Lunations Consulting, LLC. 608.334.3806 </li></ul>
    29. 29. About the Presenter <ul><li>Founder of management consulting firm Partnering Resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Specializes in identifying the hidden web of relationships that drive organization performance and helping leaders reach across the “white spaces” to develop solutions that stick. </li></ul><ul><li>Client list includes Alcatel-Lucent, eCopy, eTeck, Fidelity, Financial Profiles, Hanover Insurance Group, Merrimack Pharmaceutical, and Novartis, as well as public and third sector companies such as Andover / Phillips Academy, Close to Home, National Air and Space Administration, National Braille Press, and Project Harmony. </li></ul><ul><li>Teaches leadership, strategy, and alignment at Boston University Corporate Education Center and Northeastern University. </li></ul><ul><li>Published by CIO.Com, Chief Learning Officer , Mass High Tech, and other magazines and journals. </li></ul><ul><li>Serves on the Editorial Review Board for OD Practitioner , the premier organization development practitioner journal in the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>Likes chocolate a lot. </li></ul>Contact: 617.395.8396 o maya@partneringresources.com o www.partneringresources.com