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!

Response to Social Network Analysis and Diversity & Inclusion

“Has a social network analysis (SNA) been created to link diverse candidates in the tech field?  What if businesses had access to SNA data, would the difficulty with identifying and backfilling strategic roles in the Tech sector, with deeply rooted gender and ethnicity imbalances, be solved?  Can SNA be secret sauce in the talent pipeline?”

via Social Network Analysis and Diversity & Inclusion

Julia, very interesting idea, and I do wonder how something like this would work. I think that individuals certainly have an opportunity to leverage network visualization to aid in their recruiting efforts. Sites like Socilab provide the ability to visualize your LinkedIn network (see mine in the image above). That visualization, in turn, could help you pinpoint individuals in your network whom you could connect to others, or whose connections you could call on when looking to fill a role. Looking at my own network this morning, I was quite surprised by some of my contacts who bridge the gaps between my different network groups. I realized that I will have to spend more time exploring some of these connections.

I’m not sure, though, how businesses would best use network information for recruiting, without being intrusive or violating privacy. We may find ourselves backing in to finding out, now that Microsoft has purchased Linked In. Microsoft has promised to integrate LinkedIn data into Outlook in innovative ways, but I do wonder if, in their eagerness to foster connections, Microsoft may inadvertently risk violating users’ privacy with this sort of integration. It’s a risk we will have to be aware of as we use these software tools.

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