The Network Approach to Change Initiatives


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Presented by Activate Networks' Rob Cross, DBA and Luke Matthews, PhD

If your company is at any stage of a reorganization, merger or acquisition, you can learn how to:

- find the data you need to strategically plan and monitor your change initiative,
- identify the top connectors in your employee network (the employees you can't afford to lose!), and
- improve knowledge sharing by understanding the current structure of communication to allow for more informed decision making.

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • Quick background on the company. We’re a social networks analytic company focused on driving commercial, organizational and health results. Our focus today is on Organizational network analysis or ONA. Specifically, we provide ONA to a wide variety of companies, to improve organizational effectiveness and achieve their strategic objectives. Boxes and lines of the trsditional “org chart” often mask relationships in networks and how work really gets done.  Individuals who appear influential in formal structures may not carry much weight in day to day operations, and some key individuals are not evident from the formal structure.  More and more leaders understand that behind any formal structure there is a web of informal relationships that help drive growth and organizational performance.  ONA acts as an x-ray for leaders to view these invisible relationships between people and groups.    By Using analytics developed by industry-leader Rob Cross, executives can map and assess these relationships revealing the hidden “networks at work” and provide a birds-eye view of information flow, decision-making, collaboration, and leadership patterns., ONA can pinpoint silos, information bottlenecks, overloaded individuals, poorly distributed expertise, and unrecognized talent.Rob is a recognized leader of organizational network analytics and author of dozens of articles in refereed journals (HBR, MIT Sloan Management Review, McKinsey Quarterly, etc), four books, multiple chapters, scores of conference presentations and other publications. This is where I put in a plug for his books by telling you they’re available on Amazon.comWe’re also the sponsor of the network roundtable which is s consortium of corporate, public and non-profit institutions committed to the application of network analytics to enhance organizational effectiveness. Organizations ranging from Raytheon to Bloomberg to NASA are members. And finally ,These solutions are the results of more than a decade of conducting social network analyses for more than 300 national and global enterprises. In the pharma space, we count Merck, BMS, Merrimack and Novartis as clients to give you a sense of who’s used this technology.
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  • Blinded background information on the company, their reorg and the goal of working with ANI.
  • Post-acquisition (though many lessons can be learned before and during the change initiative)Company wanted to analyze these 5 criteria to determine what drove collaboration post-change.Main concern: Is the old structure (“legacy affiliation”) still driving collaboration dynamics? In other words, were they successful? Did the change work?
  • From email data, a network can be created by looking at the exchange of emails between individuals. In this analysis, both the volume of emails between individuals, as well as the time between responses relative to each individual’s typical email patterns were used to create connections, or relationships, between individuals.
  • The initial hypothesis was that 3 months of email data would be required for an analysis. The graph to the right demonstrates the changes by adding additional weeks of email data. Around week 12, the correlation begins to plateau, supporting the initial hypothesis.
  • Repeat slide to remind audience of the initial question (ie was the legacy group still driving collaboration?)
  • No, in fact, sub-functions were correctly driving employee communication. The reorg was successful in changing the collaborating away from the old structure into the new structure.
  • Emphasis that although this case study was about post-change, ONA can help change initiatives at any stage of the process.
  • The Network Approach to Change Initiatives

    1. 1. 617.558.0210 | | 1 Newton Executive Park, Suite 100 | Newton, MA 02462 The Network Approach to Change Initiatives Rob Cross, DBA, and Luke Matthews, PhD
    2. 2. © 2013 Activate Networks 2Connected Insight Summit 2013: Activate Networks Network science based on 15 years of research of leading and analysis from both Harvard and UVA’s participation with leading corporations Users of ONA include major global organizations and industry leaders A software company providing the strategic tools to identify and understand the key social connections that drive commercial, organizational, and health results Utilizes innovative social network analytic technology developed by Prof. Rob Cross of the University of Virginia
    3. 3. © 2013 Activate Networks 3Connected Insight Summit 2013: Presenters: Rob Cross & Luke Matthews • Professor of Management at University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce • Senior Consultant for Activate Networks, Inc. • Author of Driving Results through Social Networks: How Top Organizations Leverage Networks for Performance and Growth • Senior Scientific Director at Activate Networks, Inc. • Research ranges from social networks of capuchin moneys to Fortune 500 marketing teams • Covered in The New York Times, The Washington Post, New Scientist Rob Cross, DBA Luke Matthews, PhD
    4. 4. © 2013 Activate Networks 4Connected Insight Summit 2013: Agenda A Case Study of a telecommunication company’s work with Activate Networks post reorganization How to drive successful reorganizations and avoid common pitfalls with Organization Network Analysis (ONA) Ask your questions throughout the presentation and have them answered by Rob and Luke 1. Rob Cross 2. Luke Matthews 3. Q&A
    5. 5. © 2013 Activate Networks 5Connected Insight Summit 2013: Formal Structure Informal Structure Exploration & Production Zaheer Schultz Mitchell Klimchuck Angelo Keller Smith Geology Dhillon Myers Petrophysical Crossley Exploration Avery Cordoza Sutherland Ramirez Drilling McWatters Waring Production Hussan Reservoir Hopper Production Milavec Senior Vice President Mares S u th e rla n d S m ith C ro s s le y D h illo n Z a h e e r K e lle r A n g e lo S c h u ltz C o rd o z a K lim c h u c k M itc h e ll M c W a tte rs M y e rs R a m ire z A v e ry M a re s H o p p e r H u s s a n M ila v e c W a rin g Networks are often under-appreciated in comparison to the formal structure
    6. 6. © 2013 Activate Networks 6Connected Insight Summit 2013: Top 200 leaders transitioning from a regional to a matrix structure Some Simple Actions… • Expertise Locator to Connect Across Regions. • Re-Defined Approvals on Routine Decisions (e.g. Pricing). • VP’s Used Unit ONAs to Develop Targeted Ties Across Regions. • Global Solution Teams to Leverage Expertise Across Regions. • Performance Management Systems Assessing Support and Responsiveness. • Revised Project Start Up Practices Demanding Reaching Out. • Leadership Development Focused on Offerings and Networks. = Director = Managing Director = Group/Area VP = Vice President = Client Executive = Director Service Delivery = Account Executive = Manager …Produced Desired Results Rapidly • 17% Increase In Ties To and From AEs… Stories of New Client Wins and Account Add-On Sales. • 13% Improvement in Cross Function and Business Unit Ties. • Improvement in sales collaborations: 27% increase in ties generating sales up to $500k; 15% increase for sales between $500k-$2MM and 9% for sales between $2-$10MM. Low Overall Connectivity, Silos Around Regions and Excessive Focus Up (5% of the Leaders Held 26% of the Ties)
    7. 7. © 2013 Activate Networks 7Connected Insight Summit 2013: Building connectivity with well-positioned key stakeholders AT, Other BR, North Central BY, South Central CU, South East CL, North East CM, Gov’t AH, Corporate EB, India By connecting BA, the most central person and leader in the Application Services unit (or her direct reports), to the people who are highly central in other regions, the network and awareness of who to go to for what expanded much more rapidly than other matrix-based transitions.
    8. 8. © 2013 Activate Networks 8Connected Insight Summit 2013: Executive Director Director 1 Director 2 Director 3 Director 4 Associate Director 1 Associate Director 2 Associate Director 3 Associate Director 4 Associate Director 5 Associate Director 6 Portfolio Lead Admin Key Overloaded Individuals: would reducing span of control to 8 DRs help enough? More may be needed? Formal restructuring and network overload 18 DR 9 DR 0 DR 9 DR 11 DR 9 DR 8 DR 12 DR 0 DR 9 DR 2 DR 11 DR 65 Informal Collaboration: Including direct reports, how many others indicate this person is an important source of information and collaboration? 105 75 75 66 73 41 92 Greater Access: What % of collaborators indicate greater access would be helpful or crucial? 18% 32% 25% 23% 20% 15% 22% 36% Others seem to be doing well; maybe the solution is unit-specific and not one-size-fits-all? Subject Matter Experts: Adding DRs can derail their ability to positively impact org. 95 14%
    9. 9. © 2013 Activate Networks 9Connected Insight Summit 2013: Successful leaders know and work through networks by… Knowing and utilizing the network’s center. Leveraging the network’s edge. Bridging silos where collaboration matters.
    10. 10. © 2013 Activate Networks 10Connected Insight Summit 2013: Solutions – Re-structure face to face and virtual meeting formats: Employ mechanisms that create awareness of expertise and vision for integration. – Paper or electronic expertise profiles: Critical to contain professional information that creates legitimacy and personal information that creates approachability. – Web 2.0 technologies: Wikis and other tools can take work out of the network and build awareness of expertise. Building awareness of expertise enables responsiveness and innovation
    11. 11. © 2013 Activate Networks 11Connected Insight Summit 2013: Case Study • Company: A major telecommunication company • Reorg type: Recent acquisition and re-structure • Issue: Post- change, HR could not assess if the change initiative was successful • Goal: To use Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) – through survey and email data – to discover what factors drove collaboration, specifically to confirm if the old structure, the legacy group, continued to drive how employees connected
    12. 12. © 2013 Activate Networks 12Connected Insight Summit 2013: Location? Rank? Sub-function? Role? Legacy group? Question: What is driving collaboration post-change?
    13. 13. © 2013 Activate Networks 13Connected Insight Summit 2013: Method: Email Data Analysis Timeframe: 15 weeks Criteria: From, To, Date, Time Response Connection Volume Connection From To Date Time 12:30:00 3/31/2012 12:31:00 3/31/2012 12:35:00 3/31/2012 12:37:00 3/31/2012 13:15:00 3/31/2012 13:43:00 3/31/2012 14:01:00 3/31/2012 14:26:00 3/31/2012 15:02:00 3/31/2012 15:36:00 3/31/2012
    14. 14. © 2013 Activate Networks 14Connected Insight Summit 2013: Method: Email Data Analysis 0.84 0.86 0.88 0.90 0.92 0.94 0.96 0.98 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Email Volume Correlation to Prior Network Weeks
    15. 15. © 2013 Activate Networks 15Connected Insight Summit 2013: Method: Email Data Analysis An Email Network • Ties are inferred from email log data • Nodes are colored by physical location
    16. 16. © 2013 Activate Networks 16Connected Insight Summit 2013: Method: Email Data Analysis 16 ANI has found that 60-80% of email-inferred network ties are within the same network community. We can then use network regression techniques to find which org structure features best predict individuals being in different network communities. Network Community: A community is a group of nodes (individuals) within a network. Individuals within communities are more connected to each other than anyone else.
    17. 17. © 2013 Activate Networks 17Connected Insight Summit 2013: Location? Rank? Sub-function? Role? Legacy group? Question: What is driving collaboration post-change?
    18. 18. © 2013 Activate Networks 18Connected Insight Summit 2013: Location 2.1 | 1.94 Rank 0.88 | 0.98 Sub-functions 10.1 | 4.89 Role 2.5 | 2.12 Legacy group 1.9 | 1.66 Results: Function, not legacy group. Effect on being in different network communities Survey | Email 
    19. 19. © 2013 Activate Networks 19Connected Insight Summit 2013: Implications: ONA through all stages of the Reorg Pre-Change • Collect data on the existing network structure and collaboration ties to allow for more informed decisions prior to initiating change During • Monitor how the change is impacting the network structure and identify which areas need additional targeting Post-Change • Quantify if and how initial goals were met • Understand how the network functions to allow for more informed human capital planning
    20. 20. © 2013 Activate Networks 20Connected Insight Summit 2013: Questions?
    21. 21. © 2013 Activate Networks 21Connected Insight Summit 2013: Title Initial Caps Calibri Bold Save 40% with the code WEBINAR For more information visit: October 8-9 | Boston, MA Discover a revolutionary way to boost the performance of your organization by leveraging your real-world corporate network to: • Improve Engagement; • Foster Collaboration; • Increase Knowledge Sharing; and • Accelerate Innovation. Decoding employee networks to boost performance