Collaborative Efficiency:A Critical Dimension of Network Effectiveness
Page 2© 2013 Activate NetworksFormal StructureSutherlandSm ithC rossleyD hillonZaheerKellerAngeloSchultzC ordozaKlim chuck...
Page 3© 2013 Activate NetworksNetworks are often under-appreciated in comparison tothe formal structure.S u th e rla n dS ...
Page 4© 2013 Activate NetworksExecutiveDirectorDirector1Director2Director3Director4AssociateDirector 1AssociateDirector 2A...
Page 5© 2013 Activate NetworksToo often the things that make you successful – beingaccessible, a problem solver, etc – bec...
Page 6© 2013 Activate NetworksScott initially focused on structural drivers of overload –informational requests and routin...
Page 7© 2013 Activate NetworksHe also focused on behaviors –things he did that created network reliance/overload• Sent emp...
Page 8© 2013 Activate NetworksWhat Practices Promote EfficientCollaboration In Your Organizations?Five Minutes In Small Gr...
Page 9© 2013 Activate NetworksStructural:1. What routine decisions are you involved in (such as travel approvals, hiring o...
Page 10© 2013 Activate NetworksBehavioral:1. Do you drive too many decisions back to you by signaling (intentionally or no...
Page 11© 2013 Activate NetworksNetwork Overload Is An Increasingly Common Career De-railerThe Over-Loaded Leader or Expert...
Page 12© 2013 Activate NetworksStep 1: Identify Overload Points Driving Network In-efficienciesDue To Style/Personality or...
Page 13© 2013 Activate NetworksDecreasing Relational Load Is Important ForBOTH Performance and Well-Being At Work0%10%20%3...
Page 14© 2013 Activate NetworksStep 2: Identify And Remove Routine Informational or Decision-Making Interactions (e.g., Tr...
Page 15© 2013 Activate Networks•Drafted guides on overall decision-makingprinciples and practices. Embedded routinedecisio...
Page 16© 2013 Activate NetworksStep 3: Address Collaborative In-Efficiencies AccruingAround Roles and Low Performers Withi...
Page 17© 2013 Activate NetworksImproving Collaborative Efficiency – Bio Tech Example• ONA at R&D department of major globa...
Page 18© 2013 Activate NetworksWrap Up & DiscussionCollaboration is critical but does imposea real and growing cost to emp...
Page 19© 2013 Activate NetworksProportionately More Efficient PeopleProportionately Less Efficient PeopleIf people who are...
Page 20© 2013 Activate NetworksHow We Best Help Organizations Address ThisProblem With Network Analytics?In a typical work...
Page 21© 2013 Activate NetworksSenior VPTime PerInteraction1.21.51.72.12.42.5Jr Analyst30.225.917.015.410.49.42.62.833.629...
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TNR2013 Rob Cross, Where Has the Time Gone Addressing Collaboration Overload in a Networked Economy

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TNR2013 Rob Cross, Where Has the Time Gone Addressing Collaboration Overload in a Networked Economy

  1. 1. Collaborative Efficiency:A Critical Dimension of Network Effectiveness
  2. 2. Page 2© 2013 Activate NetworksFormal StructureSutherlandSm ithC rossleyD hillonZaheerKellerAngeloSchultzC ordozaKlim chuckM itchellM cW attersM yersR am irezAveryM aresH opperH ussanM ilavecW aringInformal StructureNetworks are often under-appreciated in comparison tothe formal structure.Exploration & ProductionZaheerSchultzMitchellKlimchuckAngeloKellerSmithGeologyDhillonMyersPetrophysicalCrossleyExplorationAveryCordozaSutherlandRamirezDrillingMcWattersWaringProductionHussanReservoirHopperProductionMilavecSenior Vice PresidentMares
  3. 3. Page 3© 2013 Activate NetworksNetworks are often under-appreciated in comparison tothe formal structure.S u th e rla n dS m ithC ro ssle yD h illo nZ a h e e rK e lle rA n ge loS ch u ltzC o rd o zaK lim ch u ckM itch e llM cW a tte rsM ye rsR a m ire zA ve ryM a re sH o p p e rH u ssa nM ila ve cW a rin gInformal StructureWhat are the downsidesto organizational orindividual performanceof too many Mitchells?Matrix based structuresor many collaborativetools don’t account forimbalances in networkconnectivity.
  4. 4. Page 4© 2013 Activate NetworksExecutiveDirectorDirector1Director2Director3Director4AssociateDirector 1AssociateDirector 2AssociateDirector 3AssociateDirector 4AssociateDirector 5AssociateDirector 6PortfolioLeadAdminFormal Restructuring and Network Overload18 DR 9 DR 0 DR 9 DR 11 DR 9 DR 8 DR 12 DR 0 DR 9 DR 2 DR11 DR65Informal Collaboration: Including direct reports,how many others indicate this person is animportant source of information andcollaboration?105 75 75 66 73 4192Key Overloaded Individuals: wouldreducing span of control to 8 DRs helpenough? More may be neededGreater Access: What % ofcollaborators indicate greater accesswould be helpful or crucial?18% 32% 25% 23% 20% 15% 22%36%Others seem to be doing well; maybe the solution isunit-specific and not one-size-fits-all?Subject Matter Experts:Adding DRs can derail theirability to positively impact org.9514%
  5. 5. Page 5© 2013 Activate NetworksToo often the things that make you successful – beingaccessible, a problem solver, etc – become career de-railers atthe next level of responsibility• His effectiveness suffering…•Health problems (overweight, highcholesterol, pre-diabetic).•Family problems (stress of work cameinto home life).•Interactions at work becoming moretoxic.•Subordinates intimidated and over-prepping.•Peers though he was becoming anA*(%)hole.• His group’s performance was suffering…• Many people on the fringe weredisheartened by missed opportunities.• Several geographies were extremelydisconnected.• Top team had significant blind spotsinto key functions.• Churn and gridlock on increasinglyroutine decisions.Meet Scott P.
  6. 6. Page 6© 2013 Activate NetworksScott initially focused on structural drivers of overload –informational requests and routine decisions that he did not needto be involved withProject management: travelapprovals, capital approval,budget, manuscript clearanceforms, project strategy, etcCapital requestsand justificationsAlliance and collaborationmanagementdecisions (confidentialityagreements, milestonepayments, etc.)IT and data systems: datamanagement, tools,reporting, workflow,data processingPerformance reviewand planningprocesses that werenon-developmental.Experimental planning,protocols, setup anddesign. Technicalplanning and technicalalignment.
  7. 7. Page 7© 2013 Activate NetworksHe also focused on behaviors –things he did that created network reliance/overload• Sent employees to meetings he had been attending toeither be “in the know” or protect his group.• Began to ask more questions (and answer fewer) whileconnecting people around him in the network.• Was more selective on problems that he jumped into tohelp others solve.• Became more cautious in improving employees’ plans(don’t do if not more than 25% impact).• Focused on addressing conflict earlier so that problemsdid not manifest deep into the network.• Began using a blog to communicate certain ideas moreconsistently.
  8. 8. Page 8© 2013 Activate NetworksWhat Practices Promote EfficientCollaboration In Your Organizations?Five Minutes In Small Groups:Identify three things you (or others) do to efficiently managecollaborative demands and be prepared to share one from your group.Think broadly about things like:• Technology use (e.g., norms on email, use of collaborative tools, etc.)and mis-use (e.g., do you move off email when sensing mis-alignment),• Meeting planning (e.g., purpose, agenda, etc.), communication (who isinvited and prep, who is legitimately excused, etc.) and process,• Shifting routine decision approvals or information requests (e.g., pushinginfo requests to others, documentation, blogs etc.),• Building bench strength and legitimacy of others in the network (e.g.,taking them to meetings early so they can sub for you later) and keepingthem from pushing you back into central position by empowering.• Checking your own tendencies (e.g., jumping in too early to solveproblems, handling bad news poorly, addressing conflict early, etc.).
  9. 9. Page 9© 2013 Activate NetworksStructural:1. What routine decisions are you involved in (such as travel approvals, hiring orpromotion decisions, and small capital expenditures) that could be reallocated toless-overloaded people or embedded in a policy?2. What information are you routinely sought for that could be made available throughothers or on web sites?3. What portions of your role could you shift to people deeper in the network as adevelopmental opportunity for them?4. Do people around you filter and focus inquiries to ensure that issues reaching youare targeted to expertise you currently hold (and not what made you successful inthe past)?5. Do you have buffering mechanisms (e.g., administrative assistants or calendaringrules) that encourage collaborators to be focused and efficient when they meet withyou?6. Do you employ periodic meetings to build vision and coordination (vs. too manyfragmented interactions that result in lost information and lack of alignment)?7. Are you clear about what will be decided and who must be present at meetings yourun (and so relieve optional participants of the need to attend “just in case”)?Are You An Efficient Collaborator?(Ways of Promoting Efficiency Around You)
  10. 10. Page 10© 2013 Activate NetworksBehavioral:1. Do you drive too many decisions back to you by signaling (intentionally or not) that you needto be in the loop? Can you create connections around or beneath you?2. Are you too responsive or quick to help and so an easy outlet for people with problems?3. Are you creating too great a reliance on you in expertise domains that have become lesscentral to your success now and in the future? Can you remove yourself from meetings oruse them as a way to develop key talent around you?4. Do you hold people accountable for lack of execution (in as positive a way as possible)?5. Do you act quickly to correct collaborative problems before they escalate?6. Do you make decisions when you should – even in the face of ambiguity or less than perfectinformation – so that you are not creating churn by asking others to un-necessarily study anissue further?7. When you make suggestions on employee’s work, do you focus on changes that will yieldsignificant (>25%) improvements?8. Do you co-create solutions with employees such that they take ownership and need lessvision and motivational interactions with you over time?9. Do you go face-to-face for high-stakes interactions and thereby reduce the need for follow-upmeetings by discovering and addressing subtle signs of dissent or mis-alignment early?10. Do you switch from email to direct contact early when you see signs of misunderstanding?Are You An Efficient Collaborator?(Ways of Promoting Efficiency Around You)
  11. 11. Page 11© 2013 Activate NetworksNetwork Overload Is An Increasingly Common Career De-railerThe Over-Loaded Leader or ExpertIssue: Intentionally orunintentionally createsheavy reliance on self.Uses own time – andothers – inefficientlyOutcome: Personalburnout, theorganization’s network istoo slow to respond tothreats or opportunities,innovation and decisionmaking can stallDecisions/Info You Can ShiftBehaviors You Can Alter
  12. 12. Page 12© 2013 Activate NetworksStep 1: Identify Overload Points Driving Network In-efficienciesDue To Style/Personality or Role.Example: 71 people identified Person 1as an effective source of info and 27responded that greater access to him iscritical to improving their effectiveness.Many of the people to whomothers desire more access arealso effective sources ofinformation.This is likely driven by two issues:– Structural: Requiring re-allocation of decision-rights,information access and role.– Personal: Requiringdevelopment of alternativeexpertise and potentiallycoaching.Scatterplot based on:• Information: Effective interactions• Access: Greater access would improvemy efficiencyPerson 1
  13. 13. Page 13© 2013 Activate NetworksDecreasing Relational Load Is Important ForBOTH Performance and Well-Being At Work0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%%ofColleaguesRatingtheIndividualasanEffectiveSourceofInformation% of Colleagues Desiring Greater Access
  14. 14. Page 14© 2013 Activate NetworksStep 2: Identify And Remove Routine Informational or Decision-Making Interactions (e.g., Travel Approvals).Operations• Demand / capacity analysis of FTEs• Resource accessibility/request for support• Resourcing of projects/initiatives• Regulatory affairs and decisions• Travel RequestsExpertise• Best practices & historical view• Drug metabolism• External grants and collaborations• Modeling and simulation• Clinical protocolHR Policies• Hiring• Personnel decisions• Talent management• Conflict management• Compensation, employee statusProject Management• Approach to protocol design• Scientific project execution• Consistency on analytical approach• Communication updates• Preparing presentations
  15. 15. Page 15© 2013 Activate Networks•Drafted guides on overall decision-makingprinciples and practices. Embedded routinedecisions or focused on new “go to” people.•Dramatically reduced numbers and sizes ofcommittees (e.g., consolidated pricing anddistribution committees).•Meeting management practices.•A cultural and behavioral change programdemanded individual accountability and reducedthe cost of inclusion/sense of entitlement.•Leaders encouraged risk taking amongst well-positioned experts in the network.Number of hours employees reported spendingwith...4941 48222835237811160100020003000400050006000InputprovidersAdviceprovidersThose who"needed toknow"DecisionmakersThose who"wanted toknow"60%Step 2: And Consider Cultural Drivers of Over-Inclusion
  16. 16. Page 16© 2013 Activate NetworksStep 3: Address Collaborative In-Efficiencies AccruingAround Roles and Low Performers Within RolesNumber of times individual produced value incollaboration with colleagueTotal Interaction timeOrganizational LeadProject ManagerLess Effective EmployeesJust Helping The 20 LeastEffective Employees ToBecome Average YieldsSavings of 38 FTEs
  17. 17. Page 17© 2013 Activate NetworksImproving Collaborative Efficiency – Bio Tech Example• ONA at R&D department of major global biotech company revealed thatfirst-line leaders varied considerably in collaborative efficiency• Senior leadership saw opportunity to improve collaboration practicesamongst least efficient first-line leaders• Without senior management present, all first-line leaders were gatheredfor a morning-long workshop to discover and share best practices• Highly efficient first-line leaders were paired with least efficient first-lineleaders (without their knowledge) and asked to find 3-5 collaborationpractices that differed between them• Each pair then focused on the one collaboration practice that they felt wasmost valuable to share with the group, and produced guidance that wasthen shared with all at the workshop• In a freeform discussion at the end of the workshop, many participantscould point to 5-10 things they would do differently and some admittedthey had never appreciated how their interaction habits influenced others
  18. 18. Page 18© 2013 Activate NetworksWrap Up & DiscussionCollaboration is critical but does imposea real and growing cost to employeesand organizations.We are obviously just beginning to thinkabout this in our research – whatdirections do you think we shouldpursue with these ideas?
  19. 19. Page 19© 2013 Activate NetworksProportionately More Efficient PeopleProportionately Less Efficient PeopleIf people who are proportionately less efficient improved tothe average time per interaction, just over 10 FTEs wouldbe gained in this group of 109 People.Role with the Highest # Hours Spent in Internal Interactions0204060801001200 10 20 30 40 50 60# of Incoming TiesTotal#HoursinIncomingInteractionsAvg Time =1.9 hrs/tieProportionatelymore efficientProportionatelyless efficientNameAvg Time In(hrs/wk)# IncomingTiesIncoming Time(hrs/wk)Joseph 9.00 2.00 18.00Kathy 8.17 3.00 24.50Mauricio 5.75 8.00 46.00Matthias 4.86 7.00 34.00Suzanne 3.71 7.00 26.00George 3.50 12.00 42.00Jorge 3.35 10.00 33.50Tamara 3.12 17.00 53.00Peter 2.60 10.00 26.00Louis 2.50 16.00 40.00Juan 2.41 35.00 84.50Sameer 2.30 22.00 50.50NameAvg Time In(hrs/wk)# IncomingTiesIncoming Time(hrs/wk)Isabella 1.11 22.00 24.50Roman 1.07 7.00 7.50Ray 1.02 21.00 21.50Jeffrey 1.02 51.00 52.00Jose 1.00 16.00 16.00Rosita 1.00 4.00 4.00William 0.97 54.00 52.50Hunter 0.96 54.00 52.00Ajay 0.90 10.00 9.00Pranab 0.90 5.00 4.50Grace 0.86 11.00 9.50Carlos 0.77 11.00 8.50Luke 0.72 16.00 11.50Step 3: Address Collaborative In-Efficiencies AccruingAround Roles and Low Performers Within Roles
  20. 20. Page 20© 2013 Activate NetworksHow We Best Help Organizations Address ThisProblem With Network Analytics?In a typical work week what percent of your time doyou spend on the following three activities:• On the phone,• On email and• In meetings – virtual or face to face.Collaboration overload is a big problem withimplications for efficiency, innovation and well-beingat work. How should we best study this together?
  21. 21. Page 21© 2013 Activate NetworksSenior VPTime PerInteraction1.21.51.72.12.42.5Jr Analyst30.225.917.015.410.49.42.62.833.629.6Avg IncomingTime Per PersonA Second Way To Focus On Formal Structure Is ByDiminishing The Impact Of Hierarchical Decision-MakingSolutions can takemany forms:• Reducing formalapproval layers• Revisingcommittee orgovernancestructures• Leadership trainingand accountabilityfor timely decision-making• Cultural changeprograms fightingover-inclusiveness

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