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Replace the org chart with the network influence map (Part 2 of 3)

September 15, 2014, Alfredo Iglesias - In an MBA or process-driven world, the first question asked to understand a Company is “show me your organization chart.”
Replace the org chart with the network influence map (Part 2 of 3)

While these are rarely up to date do to fluidity in today’s workforce, they are also a static representation of titles, not of inherent value to a Company. Instead, I would suggest a more helpful proxy to understand the business would be to look at a network influence map: who connects to, follows, shares, replies, posts, trains, whom?  The network influencer map (like a Klout score in Social media or the Saba Cloud’s pQ score) shows who is leading impactful discussions and driving connections that are advancing the business. Org charts put process in the middle of the discussion, network influence maps show where the discussions are that matter. And who is having them.

Before my role at Saba, I built my career in High Tech, ensuring Learning and development for key teams. I actually selected Saba for one of those companies in 2011 as I tried to help solve a set of problems for which that I couldn’t exactly source the root cause. The technical support teams at this Company were struggling with:

-lower morale and productivity

-rising turnover 

-low empowerment

-limited visibility to connect to the bigger business priorities.

I had been looking for a traditional Learning management solution that involved top-down selection and assignment of courses and content to keep our support team up to date on new product and solution offerings. When I saw Saba, I realized the way they approached the potential of talent, flipped the problem on its head. Saba started with the employee in the middle of the equation. The focus on connection, collaboration and internal, informal Learning helped my Company break the chain of process management behavior that stunted our engagement with our teams—and their interest and opinions on driving better solutions.

So instead of prescriptive Learning, we opened up Saba’s collaborative tool and let our teams drive informal Learning. Not only did it reduce my workload by 33%, it connected disparate teams by allowing transparency on crowd-sourced content and discussions on best content, practices and ideas. Once the different organizations saw each other’s ideas, they began to see more and more similarities and leverage opportunities, where they used to see artificial walls. And individuals had a place to be known for skills and context that they were passionate about.

Within 12 months, we not only delivered better, more used development content, we saw a cultural transformation that included daily collaboration, new team-building dynamics and a big increase in internal application for new positions across departments.

Putting our people in the center did the trick. Are people or processes in the center of your Learning and development plans?

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