How Hard is it to Recognize People? MB#5

Honestly, how hard is it to recognize associates in the workplace? Why is there resistance to something so simple? As I have talked to more people, exploring barriers to sustaining change, one of the things people talk about is recognition. To sustain change, you have to recognize and reward those individuals and teams that are exemplifying the desired behaviors. But you can’t wait until the end—you have to continuously recognize people along the way. I wonder how hard it would be to break a change down into milestones, and recognize people and teams at each milestone—who’s got it, and is demonstrating for others how to make it work. Dead simple, right, so why not do it?

DOEC Project Progress Report

I detailed my engagement with the work of Rob Cross and my learning about how he has used social network analysis to drive change management in an earlier blog post (Social Network Analysis and Change Management) . In this post I want to take a step back, and outline the intention of the organizational effectiveness project I am working on, and comment on where I am and my next steps.

Back in 2015, my organization administered an organizational health survey, the results of which were shared with functional leadership teams. I was asked in 2016 to lead a team to explore the results on the Change Management portion of the survey. My discovery process utilized round table discussions with a number of groups that represented a broad cross-section of the function, in terms of both level and roles. My team then assembled and analyzed the data collected in these sessions, and distilled the data into a number of themes around change management.  The broad overarching theme was that changes impacting the function were not effectively communicated: round table participants pointed to gaps in timeliness of communication, the communication of intent and benefits, and reporting around progress and achievement of goals.

In response to this, my HR partner and I spent several months in 2017 delivering training intended to build associates’ skills as change agents and leaders. Time well spent, and of great value, but my concern has been that we have not fully addressed some of the key concerns surfaced around change communication. Consequently, as I entered into the Design for Organizational Effectiveness program, I felt I had a ready-made project to explore. My theory, derived from my reading of Rob Cross (noted above) is that social network analysis can be used to facilitate change communication within my organization. I believe that I can use the results of a social network analysis to pull together a team of individuals ideally placed to facilitate the communication of change within my function.

I have spent some time in my fall quarter 2017 class exploring the basic concepts and tools of social network analysis, and I have also invested time in learning an SNA tool, NodeXL. Armed with the results of my discovery round tables and my new tool, I created a survey that I sent out to associates in my function late in 2017, and have used NodeXL to build a social network graph. I have begun but not completed my analysis of my network graph.

I have identified several next steps to flesh out my prototype and  push my project forward:

  • I need to complete my social graph analysis, and assemble my change management team.
  • I have to plan exactly how I am going to use the team.
  • I need to determine the best way to measure effectiveness of the team:
    • Mini-surveys
    • Round tables
    • Another global organizational health survey will take place over the summer, but I hope to have at least some results before then.
  • Finally, I would like to plan out a  couple prototype cycles, if possible, to test my theory and make adjustments.

Fortuitously,  my function just rolled out a substantial change, so when I run a prototype test with my change management team, I will have a change event to which I can draw comparisons. More to come!

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