Pressing challenges are often met with a push for new structures, collaborative tools and agile practices. But when collaborative costs, network dynamics and cultural roadblocks are overlooked, the result is lack of alignment and less-than-expected performance.
From our ongoing research, we have identified strategies and network interventions that overcome these challenges and promote organizational agility and alignment. Drawing on Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) and established network research, we help leaders drive change, create cross-boundary alignment and enable cultural transformation.
Assessing collaborative patterns before a restructuring, strategic re-orientation or launching a significant initiative can improve uptake of a change and increase the odds of success. Network analytics can identify informal opinion leaders who can galvanize others around a plan and project—or derail success. By engaging influencers in key network positions, early on, leaders drive change quickly and more effectively. A follow-up ONA can be done to evaluate success and identify areas where future efforts should focus.
Network analysis can also determine where collaboration is misaligned with strategic goals and formal structure. Too often, well-intended collaboration efforts are counter-productive, sliding key employees into overload and leaving the most critical points of connection and collaboration understaffed or under-resourced.
When no single leader or unit is responsible for outcomes, organizations need to systematically connect expertise and bridge roles or functions. Our research and custom analytics shed light on who needs to collaborate with whom about what and the optimal ways to boost collaboration needed to align goals and strategy.
With large-scale or foundational change, a culture of agility is as important as having the right structures or processes—if not more so. Though most culture transformations begin top-town, culture is experienced locally in networks. To be successful, culture-change efforts should enlist, align and empower diverse groups and key influencers to co-create the change. Leadership actions should focus on alignment of goals and values, and generating trust, purpose and energy.
MIT Sloan Management Review
Agility and alignment are increasingly vital to organizational success.
94% of companies say agility and collaboration are critical to their organization’s success—but only 6% of companies say they are highly agile today.
Collaboration is the #1 value linked to organizational agility—but only 26% of organizations structure work for effective collaboration. Targeted network interventions are needed to structure collaborative behaviors, engage influencers, align goals and values—and create an agile culture.
Apply the Network Strategy
Implement network solutions to drive change, create alignment and enable cultural transformation.
Through keynotes, organization design and development workshops, and consulting, Rob helps people identify and understand the patterns of collaboration within and across functions, business units, locations—even external partners.
With Organizational Network Analysis (ONA), leaders can make targeted interventions to ensure agility at key points in a network and avoid nonessential collaboration, inefficiency and employee burnout.
Customized Network Analytics for Organizational Agility and Performance
A flexible suite of analytics and tools—including Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) —can be deployed by Rob and his team to help your organization to identify opportunities and design strategies to overcome challenges to agility and performance.