The way work gets done in companies is not always obvious from organisational charts. Often tasks, functions and process maps are only seen from a mechanistic perspective. Processes and task performance are improved and often changed by social and influential relationships found in a company’s shadow network. Increasingly, a growing body of knowledge about the shadow organisation, the network effect and the role of relationships in organisations help us to understand how work really gets done. Patterns of connectivity emerge from the unequal ways in which people connect. The resultant network structures have properties that can be measured using Organisational Network Analysis (ONA).
For various reasons ONA has been winning ground as an additional business management tool during the past decade or so and provides a platform to understand the shadow organisation and the impact of network properties. This network perspective provides insights into the effects of relationships and how these networks drive the shadow organisation.
Since human relationships and relationships among other types of entities such as processes and functions are the real drivers inside companies, ONA provides the theoretical framework and methods with which to gain insight into these otherwise obscured driving forces. Network structures, the way people connect, influence and their network positions affect the way work gets done. The relationships characterising the shadow organisation in turn have an impact on value creation and a company’s bottom line.
Don’t you feel that after wave after wave of change you still can’t find that sweet spot of optimal performance? Is there perhaps an alternative?