The most innovative companies already use Organizational Network Analysis and its indicators to better manage governance and internal relations and to optimize company performance: what do we know about it?
Modern business organizations can no longer be simply designed in a rigid organization chart: the reality of business is made up of several dynamics and constantly evolving relationships among the different company areas.
What is Organizational Network Analysis?
Thinking about drawing a similar flow of data, information and connections into a hierarchical organizational chart, would therefore be an understatement: the network of interactions and relationships within the organizational structure is a great source of information to optimize business processes performances.
How to get this information? Relying on Organizational Network Analysis: this is a systematic approach that does not focus on hierarchical relationships but is oriented to understand how the positioning of people and teams in the network of relationships can have a concrete impact on the behaviour and performance of the whole company. The quality and quantity of relations become parameters to measure the exchange of information, both from the central nodes through which the communication flow becomes strategic, and of the peripheral areas that stays on the edge.
Organizational Network Analysis: Do Relationships Matter?
The complexity of relationships within organizations contains a valuable data to identify "hidden" connections within corporate networks that reveal to be a strategic driver for corporate performance. In fact, within the teams and between one team and another, formal and informal relationships are born and developed, often in a spontaneous and unpredictable way: analysing the quality of these relations and measuring them become an essential factor to understand the flows and to increase collaboration by maximizing the potential of the corporate talent network.
How does the Organizational Network Analysis work?
Organizational Network Analysis, as also clearly explained by Deloitte US in a recent study, consists of a structured way to visualize how communication flows, information exchanges and decisions move through an organization. Organizational networks are designed as a mix of nodes and links, to immediately understand the communication dynamics and information flows within the company in the simplest way.
It is in fact a Social Network Analysis, thinking about social networks that spontaneously develop in the organization, creating valuable connections through which ideas and crucial information can influence business dynamics.
We can imagine the organizational network made up of these elements:
- "Central nodes": these are "key" people in the organization, who act as universal problem solvers and who are able to quickly influence a large group of colleagues. The "central nodes" can be found at any hierarchical level of the company organization chart, they are generally figures with a positive impact on the organization and highly engaged in company development;
- "knowledge brokers": these people play the role of a "bridge" and act as intermediaries of knowledge and information between different teams. Without this role, ideas are stopped and not shared in the organization;
- "Peripheral": this is someone who’s positioned at the ends of the information flows, disconnected from the rest of the company. If the person in this peripheral role has particular skills or holds an important position, this results into a risk for the organization. It is possible that this is a person who does not share his/her knowledge in the organization and will probably leave soon;
- “Ties”: it deals with the bonds, that is the formal and informal relationships between the nodes. It is important to create the conditions for the development of optimal links between central nodes and knowledge brokers to allow information flow between teams and within groups in a fluid and efficient way.
This kind of analysis bring to a series of considerations and actions that are crucial to better manage company performance: critical situations or barriers to the knowledge flow are promptly identified, as well as the areas in which a "central node” could have the greatest impact in simplifying flows and fostering the ideas exchange.
This is not a utopia but something achievable with a simple and effective tool: the Glickon algorithm for Organizational Network Analysis allows your company to quickly and effectively identify hidden" relationships and spontaneous connections that are fundamental for the organization’s performance and HR management.
Such a tool is able to identify natural leaders within the organization, analysing with a algorithm the roles of people and their contribution within the social networks in between the teams. All information is made available in a quick and easy way, thanks to a visual mapping showing informal communications and performance diagrams, allowing to act on time to resolve and prevent potential conflicts.
This is an innovative and technologically advanced approach compared to traditional methods of human resources management and performance monitoring, thanks to the special attention paid to the organization's sentiment, focusing on the creation of a unique and fulfilling Employee Experience.