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Network Power! Tapping Hidden Social Networks to Accelerate Improvement American Society for Quality Worcester Section June 18, 2009 Presenter: Maya Townsend, Partnering Resources Contact: 617.395.8396 o [email protected] o www.partneringresources.com

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Presentation given to the American Society for Quality Worcester Chapter in June 2009.

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Page 1: Asq Worcester Network Power Public

Network Power!Tapping Hidden Social Networks to Accelerate Improvement

American Society for QualityWorcester SectionJune 18, 2009Presenter: Maya Townsend, Partnering ResourcesContact: 617.395.8396 o [email protected] o www.partneringresources.com

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2© 2009 Maya Townsend © 2009 Maya Townsend

The Point

Companies can accelerate

improvement initiatives and

increase likelihood of success by

tapping into existing hidden networks

Image: Partnering Resources

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3© 2009 Maya Townsend

Only 29% of change

initiatives are completely or mostly successful improving

performance.

Data: McKinsey (2005).

Why It Matters

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4© 2009 Maya Townsend

1. What is a network?2. What do networks have to do with change?3. How can you leverage networks to improve organizations faster and more effectively?

Agenda

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5© 2009 Maya Townsend

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

What is a Network?

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The Simplest Work Network

You have a question

You ask Mary at the next desk

She doesn’t know the answer and calls

Sam for advice

Sam knows how to answer the

question so Mary connects you to

Sam

Problem solved!

Human networks are also all about movement: The movement of information

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People Form Networks within Teams

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More People, More Complexity

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9© 2009 Maya Townsend © 2009 Maya Townsend

We Work through Formal Systems…

Jane is at the individual contributor level on the org chart

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…And Miss the Networks

Jane is a critical connector in this network. Without Jane, the organization separates into 3

unconnected factions

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Measuring Critical Connectors

• Critical Connectors comprise only 5% of the organization

• Three Critical Connectors – Hubs

– Gatekeepers

– Pulsetakers

Image: © 2005 NetForm, Inc. Used with permission.

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The Hub

• Highly and directly connected with many people

• Communicate and disseminate knowledge through the organization

GaryHarry

Patty

Paula

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The Gatekeeper

• Link departments, functions, and groups together

• Act as information gateways and broker knowledge between critical parts of the organization

GaryHarry

Patty

Paula

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The Pulsetaker

• Have maximum influence using minimum number of direct contacts

• Work through indirect means

GaryHarry

Patty

Paula

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It’s Not Just the Grapevine: Organizations have Multiple Networks

Social Decision-Making Innovation

Expertise Improvement

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1. What is a network?2. What do networks have to do with change? 3. How can you leverage networks to improve organizations faster and more effectively?

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17© 2009 Maya Townsend © 2009 Maya Townsend

About Change

Changes Completed On Time and With Minimal Disruption:

5%Gartner, 2001

Average Project Cost Overrun:

43%

Percentage of Originally Defined Features

Delivered:

54%** Of which 45% are never usedStandish Group Standish Group

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Healthy Networks: Adaptable & Resilient

Networks can…• Adapt quickly to change.• Withstand stress.• Reorganize without significantly

affecting productivity.• Diffuse information easily.• Grow quickly.

Case studies: Plastrik & Taylor (2006) and Evans & Wolf (2005).

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Unhealthy Networks Can Cause Failure• Nearly 80% of senior

executives surveyed believe that effective coordination across boundaries is crucial for growth…

• …yet only 25% say their organizations are effective at sharing knowledge across boundaries

Graphic: NetForm. Used with permission.

Lack of connections between two key departments caused a

major gaffe at the LA Philharmonic

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Leaders Can Leverage Networks

• Situation: Monopolist culture impeded growth, cost-cutting, and quality improvement programs.

• Actions: Leaders identified and engaged critical network connectors in "Pride Builders" meetings.

Case: Reingold & Yang (2007).

• Results: Dramatic increases in satisfaction metrics:

– Increase of 71% in employee satisfaction in comparison to control group.

– Increase of 35% - 245% in customer satisfaction in comparison to control group.

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1. What is a network?2. What do networks have to do with change?3. How can you leverage networks to improve organizations faster and more effectively?

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Four Techniques

1. Build strong personal networks

2. Understand your organization’s networks

3. Build networks to support change

4. Use multiple techniques

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1. Build Strong Personal Networks

Image: Barry Wellman, “The Network Community: An Introduction to Networks in the Global Village.

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24© 2009 Maya Townsend © 2009 Maya Townsend

Successful Projects have Stronger Leadership Networks

• 93% of completely successful change initiatives were led by people with very strong / strong personal networks

• 73% of less successful change initiatives were led by people with moderate / weak networks

Data: NEHRA / Partnering Resources study (2009).

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Key to Building Your Network

Photo: Sizumaru’s Photo Stream, Flickr.

Building networks requires more giving than receiving

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The Minimalist Approach

1. Schedule 1 coffee meeting / month

2. Forward 1 email / week

3. Walk around the office and talk with people 1 time / day

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2. Understand Your Organization’s Networks

• How does information flow through the organization?

• Who are the critical connectors?

• Who are the ad hoc decision-makers?

• Who can make things happen?

Image: Nancy Margulies (www.nancymargulies.com)

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An Example

Images: Partnering Resources using NetForm™ Connectors software.

The loss of only two people causes major gaps in this nonprofit organization. The diagram on the left shows the organization today. The one on the right shows the organization without 2 critical connectors.

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How to Understand Networks

1. Map them by hand

2. Map them using ONA software

3. Ask 10 people you trust: Who do you trust to get things done?

Images: Partnering Resources.

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3. Build Networks to Support Change

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Case Study: Building Networks to Support Change

• Situation: IT projects consistently failed to meet time and budget constraints.

• Actions: Leaders seeded the Implementation Team with critical network connectors.

• Leaders created a Learning Team also comprised of critical connectors.

Results: The organization achieved its goal and implemented CMM Level 3 processes in 50% the time recommended. Learning continues to this day.

© 2009 Maya Townsend

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How to Build Change Networks

• Get the right people in the (virtual) room

• Define the purpose • Give them a forum• Encourage give and take• Listen• Give them the power to act

Image: Charis Tsevis.

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4. Use Multiple Techniques

Ask informal leaders to help support the

change

Brainstorm or explore ideas associated with

the change with people outside the

change team

Strategize how to overcome planning or

implementation obstacles

Get feedback on documents, approach,

and aspects of the initiative before rollout

Understand what the grapevine has to say

about change

Leverage personal contacts to help get

things done

Data: NEHRA / Partnering Resources study (2009).

Strategize how to overcome planning or

implementation obstacles

Get feedback on documents, approach,

and aspects of the initiative before rollout

These two techniques are positively correlated with the success of change initiatives. In other words, if you do nothing else, do these!

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1. What is a network?2. What do networks have to do with change? 3. How can you leverage networks to improve organizations faster and more effectively?

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Let’s Leverage our Networks!

What from this presentation stands out as most relevant to your work?

What questions do you have?

Image: Nancy Margulies (www.nancymargulies.com)

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For More Information…Articles & Research

Kleiner, A. (2002). “Karen Stephenson’s Quantum Theory of Trust.” strategy + business. Available at www.strategy-business.com.

Reingold, J. & Yang, J. L. (2007). “The Hidden Workplace.” CNN Money. Available at www.cnnmoney.com.

Patton, S. (2005). “Social Network Analysis Helps Maximize Collective Smarts.” CIO.Com. Available at http://tinyurl.com/64wtu8.

Stephenson, K. & Zelen, M. (1989). “Rethinking Centrality.” Available at http://drkaren.us/KS_publications01.htm.

Townsend, M. (2008). “The Three Most Important Positions You Don’t Know About Yet.” Available at www.partneringresources.com/resources.html.

Townsend, M. (2009). “Leveraging Human Networks to Accelerate Learning.” Chief Learning Officer. Available at http:// tinyurl.com/ccftsu.

Townsend, M. & Yeung, S. (2009). “Survey: Informal Networks Linked to Success of Change Initiatives.” Boston.Com. Available at http://tinyurl.com/oql7d9.

Books

Anklam, P. (2007). Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World.

Cohen, D. & Prusak, L. (2001). In Good Company: How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work.

Cross, R., & Parker, A. (2004). The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations.

Network Analysis & Mapping Software

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network_analysis_software for full list.

Recommended freeware: UCINet & Visone.

Recommended commercial software: Connectors, InFlow, NetMiner.

Websites

www.partneringresources.com

Page 37: Asq Worcester Network Power Public

Network Power!Tapping Hidden Social Networks to Accelerate Improvement

American Society for QualityWorcester SectionJune 18, 2009Presenter: Maya Townsend, Partnering ResourcesContact: 617.395.8396 o [email protected] o www.partneringresources.com