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Enterprise Social Network Analysis A Case Study

Karthikeyan Iyer Founder Director, Co-Crafter, Crafitti Consulting

We live in a world of networks


High School relationships

Web Pages

Dolphin relationships

Milgram s Experiment Six Degrees of Freedom

Around the world in 6 hops!


We are all connected . . .

But some people have more power and influence than others . . .
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Social Network Analysis Studying people and relationships between them

Centrality

How to identify, who is more important in the network?

Granovetter Strength of Weak Ties


Despite being clustered in our own links, we connect with other such clusters through random, long-range, infrequent, and weak ties. The sociologist Mark Granovetter in his now classic paper of 1973 titled Strength of Weak Ties showed that effective social coordination happens through the presence of occasional weak ties between individuals and not through densely interlocking strong ties.

A Structural Hole

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Malcolm Gladwell Tipping Points

In social networks, a small number of people can create a non-linear shift in behavior
Connectors are those with wide social circles. Mavens are knowledgeable people. Salesmen are charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They exert "soft" influence rather than forceful power.

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Net Promoter Score


How Likely is it that you would recommend [brand or company X] to a friend or colleague?

Not at all likely Neutral

Extremely Likely

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Promoter Passively Satisfied Detractor


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9-10 7-8 0-6


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Competent Jerks and Lovable Fools


Competent Jerks
Increasing competence

Lovable Star

Incompetent Jerk

Lovable Fool

Increasing Likability
Source: Casciaro & Lobo, HBR
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A Case Study

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The context in which the Enterprise Social Network Survey was conducted

Acquisition

Attrition Crisis
Employees resigning in bunches Impact on project delivery Impact on project pipeline

Regular HR approaches to mitigate attrition were ineffective


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Network Effects in an Enterprise Social Network context


Finding key opinion leaders who might be (knowingly or unknowingly) driving nonlinear attrition behaviour in the enterprise Finding key opinion leaders who can beneficially influence the problem at hand
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Key Opinion Leaders


Most approached Connected to many others in the network (or to well connected others) Influencers, negotiators

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A Simple Survey
Who in your work network do you interact with most often?
Collaboration on regular work activities Mentorship/ advice Brainstorming/ Developing an idea Solving a work problem Resolving a crisis To connect you to the right people to get something done To champion a cause or sell something to customers, top management or to other peer groups

How likely is it that you would recommend your company to a friend or colleague?

Choose a number on the scale 0 10, where 0 means not at all likely , 5 means neutral and 10 means extremely likely .

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The Enterprise Social Network


The survey was answered by close to 80% of the total employee strength. Based on the inputs, the following employee social network emerged

Analyzing with Degree Centrality

High attrition

Low attrition

Betweenness Centrality brings out the connectors

Some surprises from the analysis of the Enterprise Social Network Many of the key opinion leaders were net detractors,
leading to accelerated decline in the team morale Some of the youngest employees were net promoters but were invisible to the leadership Many of the perceived key opinion leaders (role based) were actually not key opinion leaders (as per the network)! To generate a tipping point for positive employee morale, net detractors had to be first converted to net promoters.

Barring one of the functional teams, none of the other teams had a senior expert or leader who could exert a calming influence in pressure situations.
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Emergent Action
Converting Passively satisfied key opinion leaders to promoters Counseling Net detractors letting go of some More cross-functional responsibility to young promoters Reworking hierarchical role definitions Increasing interactions with branch office teams

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Results
Prior to this intervention, the company was receiving 10 resignation letters on an average every week! For an organization with just 120 employees this was disastrous, putting immense pressure on recruitment cycles, project delivery and most importantly team morale.
Post intervention based on employee social network analysis, the attrition was immediately stemmed.

Earlier, the company was letting go of employees who had a positive impact in the social network, thereby unwittingly accelerating the process of iteration
Post intervention, key opinion leaders and net promoters were retained with a direct impact on overall employee morale

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Enterprise Social Networks


How your networks are structured will determine how your enterprise responds to external stimuli Are you trying to fight non-linearity with linear structures? Is your enterprise finding it difficult to innovate despite the best intentions? Form will define behavior . . . Innovative organizations will design their structures to maximize benefits from network effects.
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ESNA can be a powerful tool for operational innovation


How your networks are structured will determine how your enterprise responds to external stimuli Are you trying to fight non-linearity with linear structures? Is your enterprise finding it difficult to innovate despite the best intentions? Form will define behavior . . . Innovative organizations will design their structures to maximize benefits from network effects.
Sales Attrition patterns
are never linear (even though we report mean attrition rates) they ebb and flow, much like population densities of animals in a natural reserve.

in reality, never actually follows linear patterns some teams at some particular times seem to be more lucky

New breakthroughs in R&D

happen in clusters, without any obvious reason and completely unconnected with the flows of R&D investment

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Thank You!
Looking forward to craft innovation together!
Karthikeyan Iyer
Founder Director, Co-crafter Crafitti Consulting Private Limited Karthikeyan.iyer@crafitti.com