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Organizational Network

Alignment

Kent Myers, PhD


Science Applications International Corp.
High Slack Robust

Potential

Low
Weak Brittle

Aligned Low High


Alert Performance
Agile
Adaptive
Directed
Alert
Agile
Adaptive
Three reflections
ENVIRONMENT

0
Others Wholes
STRATEGY 1 (influence) (appreciation)

2b
2a
CRITICAL
TASKS

3 5 Self
(control)
4

6
PEOPLE CULTURE

7 8

FORMAL
ORGANIZATION
Unpacking the Network Link: Sub-Links

• 0t – Accurate
perception of and
support for other’s
0t
Strategy

1t intention

B
Critical tasks
Critical tasks

• 1t – Effective
incorporation of
Strategy

partner role and


transactions
A

(repeat for each network pair)


Unpacking the Network Link: Forces

Three classes of expectations define:


Change - a containment region for an organization
Global change
Forces - a position of maximum alignment

Local change

Leadin
g
The network’s
Global roleLocal role Movin
g
Movin
g state
Away Towar
Lagging d

A partner’s state
Role Contribution
Forces

Relationship

Interaction
Forces
Measuring the Network Link: Questions

Am I aligning Am I aligning
with B? with A?

Is the
relationship
Am I aligning aligned? Am I aligning
with the
network?
A B with the
network?

Do I think B is Do I think A is
aligning with me? aligning with me?
Measuring the Network Relationship: Indexes

Network
Index
Node Positional
Overall score for Overall score for
Index Index
the network one organization
Reputation in
network

Change
Index

Capacity & motivation


Relationship Contribution for change
Index Index

Achievement level Effort level (each partner


(in view of each partner) views other and self)
Measuring the Network Relationship: Criteria

• Appropriate tension, not ‘maximum’ alignment

• Non-discrepant viewpoints of situation

• Weakness not concentrated in a factor

• Weakness not excessive in an indicator

• Alignment seeking

• Better on weighted factors


Navy Project
Leadership A Network Alignment Assessment Project

Issue
Incorporate
schedule and
results
expectations

Tasker Action Memo


Organization
Executive

Acknowledge Participate in Arrive at


Group

& grant issues decision


sanction workshop package
Stakeholders
Organization

Complete Grant Context & Valuation


survey Interview

Discussion
Email
Questions
Interview Staff
Survey and

Consultant
Issue survey Schedule Conclusions
invitation & supplemental Gather data
link interviews
Consulting Staff

Introduce Prepare
Prepare
project & Compendium recommendations
hypotheses
obtain & grounded
and models
sanction models

Sensing Interpretation Decision


A Surface Enterprise domain,
recast as 6 nodes of an organizational network

Logistics

NAVAIR

NAVMAC Manning Ships


OPNAV

BUPERS
Training
Support NAVSEA
Nodes
NAVSUP
Maint.
SPAWAR
CNSF
Pillars
Factors Relationship Node Contribution
(interpretation & indicators) (interpretation & indicators)
Directed The relationship is orderly and A is responsible and ordered.
governed.
 There is mutual understanding of  A's contribution to the relationship with my
how our relationship is managed. organization is of good quality. (p1)
(j4)  A doesn't neglect its part of the work or
 There are people in charge on both leave it unfinished. (p2)
sides who can govern the  A seldom disrupts work processes, beyond
relationship and solve problems. what may be necessary. (p3)
(j5)  A doesn't impose excessive bureaucracy or
 Neither party attempts to perform supervision. (p4)
work that the other should be
performing. (j6)
Alert Both parties are aware of what is going A is aware of self, others, shared situations.
on and what to do.
 The two parties have a common  A clearly understands its obligations to the
operating picture of the domain. (j1) relationship. (p5)
 Both parties agree on facts and  A appears to be encouraged and rewarded
status concerning shared work. (j2) for working well with my organization. (p6)
 The necessary expertise exists on  A keeps us informed; they rarely create
both sides. (j3) surprises and misunderstandings. (p8)
 A understands our perspective on situations.
(p9)
Factors Relationship Node Contribution
(interpretation & indicators) (interpretation & indicators)
Agile In the normal course of business, both A responds when needed.
parties adjust to each other and to the
shared situation.
 Neither party neglects or avoids  A values our opinions about their
tasks that are important to the shared performance. (p10)
effort. (j7)  A takes initiative when needed; we don't
 Both parties resolve disagreements have to push them. (p11)
and misunderstandings before they  When A makes a mistake, I am confident in
become chronic or repetitive. (j8) their ability to fix it. (p12)
 Individuals form the two  A is able to make ad hoc adjustments when
organizations know each other and needed or requested. (p13)
have developed trust. (j9)
Adaptive Successful change and innovation A changes as needed.
occurs within shared areas of
responsibility.
 The relationship between the two  A has adapted over time in ways the benefit
organizations changes over time and us and keep pace with our own changes.
is not stuck in ways that no longer (p14)
make sense. (j10)  When A initiates changes that affect us,
 Both parties learn and create new they keep us informed and work with us to
opportunities by participating in this adjust. (p15)
relationship. (j11)
Web survey
Interview strategies
START WITH PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF SUCCESS
Often, nobody has ever asked. Establishes an open, creative, participative posture.
Examples:
- When have you felt most energized in your role, here or elsewhere?
- What is the most significant change, innovation, or transition you were a part of.
- What relationships or project teams have worked especially well together, in terms of serving,
adapting well, leading others in needed change.

WHAT’S WORKING TODAY


Ask about strengths; they will supply the constraints
Consider what somebody else said that you are genuinely uncertain about
Ask about what they know, and you can often connect it back to broader alignment issues
Focus on cycles, evolutions, innovations they can discuss in the form of a story
Old timers have useful perspectives on larger external factors

POSITIVE POSSIBILITIES
Examples:
- What are the major opportunities.
- Assume you have transformed in a way that makes sense, and tell the story
- If you could change your network in any way three ways, what do you do, what’s the impact.
Shore's View Ship's View
Ship contribution Relationship Relationship Shore contribution
Agree? Indicator Factor Indicator Factor Factor Indicator Factor Indicator Agree?
Directed x 4.0 3.60 3.7 3.67 3.43 3.1 managed 3.33 3.7  quality
3.5 3.7 3.9 people to govern 3.5 no neglect
3.4 3.6 3.3 poaching 3.1 no disruption
3.5 3.0 no bureaucracy
Alert 3.6 3.43 3.7 3.70 3.07 2.8 common picture 3.13 3.2 obligations
↓ 3.5 3.6 2.9 agree on facts 2.9  encouraged
3.2 3.8 3.5 expertise 3.4 keeps us informed
3.4 3.0 understands us
Agile 3.6 3.65 3.6 3.63 3.40 3.5 no neglect 3.10 2.9 value feeback
3.4 3.7 3.4 resolve disputes 2.9 has initiative
3.8 3.6 3.3 trusted persons 3.3 fixes mistakes
3.8 3.3 ↓ adjusts
Adaptive 3.6 3.60 3.6 3.65 3.20 3.3 not stuck 3.30 3.3 paces with us
3.6 3.7 3.1 learn 3.3 helps us change
Relation-to-the-whole indexes

(Change Index )

Leading Leading

(Enterprise
Position Index )

Disengaged Engaged Engaged Disengaged

Lagging Lagging

Shore Ship

DRAFT
7 conclusions located in ‘alignment space’
Network Relationship Node
as a whole pairs alone

Directed
Delivery works

Alert Unrewarded network contribution


Uncertain awareness of intent

Poor situational awareness

Agile
Lack of initiative
Fix after the fact

Adaptive
Complacency about options
Conclusion #4: Good network behavior is unrewarded
Factor: Alert Extent: Community

• All of Shore’s partners scored the Encouragement/Reward item lower,


Data some their lowest item (2.9). Shore’s self-assessment is consistent, though
not strongly so.
• A telling story: “Nobody asked me to it or gives me any credit for it, but I
guess that I am spending time to educate people in other organizations on
how the system works.”
• Shore may be complacent in advancing its Enterprise relationships:
– Fewer Shore respondents are interested in improving their
relationships, compared to the other partners (50% compared with 70%
– Only 50% (including Shore) would reconstitute Shore as is if it were
eliminated

Implications • The network needs to change the way its participants are evaluated and
rewarded. Shift from inward emphasis to an emphasis on balance with
outward Enterprise interests.
• No-cost incentives are an under-utilized lever for implementing any change
#1: Help staff learn how manning roles and processes interact
and where there is tension
Action s Resources, Timing
- Establish a working group under training leadership
Resources: Part
- Name processes associated with nodes; specify intersections
only time work
- Overlay basic four budgetary processes and schedules group, expert
- Develop role profiles, external distractors, remaining game assistance for
elements simulation
- Identify instances of misunderstanding, disagreement, surprise, training
and ignorance that are often experienced by newcomers Timing: 4 mo initial
- Devise scenarios for use in tabletop simulation development,
- Pilot tabletop simulation with 1-year staff and revise scenarios use as module
- Rerun for newcomers in new course,
- Revise as single-user interactive simulation, also text version with create single
some reference materials (suitable for inclusion in start-up
pack) user version
- Invite comments concerning improvements and updates after revision

Outcomes / Benefits
• A memorable, compact experience of network interaction that accelerates job learning
• Understand sources of conflict, including different motivations, roles, criteria,
schedules
• Greater readiness to cooperate with other nodes and to change together
Some personal findings
• The network perspective is a distinctively
different -- and increasingly important -- way to
look at organizations

• Organizational potential is crucial, yet it is rarely


isolated from performance or managed
comprehensively

• Government and military organizations may


have thought about it early this time, but
commercial organizations are on the move.
back up
Labovitz Model
STRATEGY

External
Environment?

PROCESSES CUSTOMERS

Culture?

PEOPLE “Main Thing”?

Leadership?
Tushman & O’Reilly Model
CRITICAL
TASKS
Environment

PEOPLE CULTURE

Strategy

FORMAL
ORGANIZATION
Enterprise Position Index
Recognition as a player within the enterprise community.

Component Description
Factor
Domain Whether considered advanced or
Leadership lagging as a player in the domain
community
Enterprise Whether considered advanced or
Leadership lagging as a player in the broader
enterprise community
Maintenance of Tendency to be proactive in tending to
Relationships relationships
Priority of Tendency to place relationships above
Relationships requirements
Change Index
Capability and readiness for change in network
relationships.
Component Description
Factor
Accommodation Mutual adjustment
Learning Mutual innovation and updating
Responsiveness Individual attentiveness and
adjustment
Evolution Individual updating and leadership
Redesign Willingness and interest in modifying
Orientation relationships, to be either more or less
complex
Node Index
Extent to which the node tends to be a successful player
within its primary network.
Component Index Description
Self assessment of Our expectation of success with ongoing
relationships transactions under changing conditions
Partners’ assessment Partner’s expectation of success with ongoing
of relationships transactions under changing conditions
Self assessment of In our judgment, the extent to which our
our contributions organization increases the likelihood of successful
ongoing transactions
Partner’s In the judgment of our partners, the extent to which
assessment of our our organization increases the likelihood of
contributions successful ongoing transactions
Enterprise Standing Recognition as an important player within the
enterprise community
Network Index
Network has well aligned partners, relative to other
networks.

Component Factor Description


Average Node Index Highly connected
for Facilitators
Average Node Index Highly influential
for Regulators
Average Node Index Less connected
for End Nodes