This past week brought a few nodes in the interconnected map of resources (articles, papers, blogs) related to organizational network analysis (ONA).
Maya Townsend (@mayapar), Partnering Resources, has begun to blog on Change, Talent, Strategy, and Collaboration. Two of her first posts reveal how intimately she combines her expertise in ONA with her organizational development and strategic consulting expertise. One, The Most Important Positions in Your Company, provides a nice summary of three key roles in networks: hubs, gatekeepers, and pulse takers. The post links to a short white paper that expand on the topic. If you are interested in networks and organizational development, you’ll find a number of gems on Maya’s site, as she is very generous with her tools, exercises, and cases. (She was a great partner to me in a NetWorkShop I conducted for the Boston Facilitator’s Roundtable last December.)
Meanwhile, over at Activate Networks‘ blog (written by Steve Wardell) references a good article from People and Strategy last year on organizational network analysis. Authors Dan Novak, Mark Rennaker, and Paulette Turner set the stage nicely for talking about the need for ONA as follows:
Using structure to articulate the intent of an organization creates a challenge for leaders because it creates a perception of stability…However in knowledge intensive organizations, people and information need to be brought together in adaptable and flexible ways.
They present five brief case studies focused on culture change in silo’d organizations. In the concluding case study, the COO offered after-action insights, including this echo of the above:
Leaders may expect a neat and clean [organizational] design, but complex, networked realities may appear messy.
I always like a good ONA read. Keeps the juices flowing. Other flows in progress:
- My Optimice colleagues Cai Kjaer, Laurie Lock Lee and I have just completed module 2 of 3 in our first running of the ONA Online Practitioner Course. We complete Module 3 next week when Marc Smith takes the student cohort into NodeXL territory. It’s not too late to sign up for the U.S. course that runs April 25 - May 22, with the interactive sessions May 8, May 15, and May 22.
- The aforementioned Activate Networks is hosting an ONA Summit in Cambridge, MA on May 15. Keynoters include Activate advisory board members and ONA/SNA “heavies” Rob Cross, Nicholas Christakis, James Fowler.
And just to boggle my brain a bit, I’m attending the Collective Intelligence symposium at M.I.T. tomorrow and Friday. I hope to tweet from there (my twittering is a bit rusty, but I can still count to 140.)