I lead a data management and software development company that I founded 18 years ago. I am a strong believer in the power of a great company culture and as such, I like to think of myself as being pretty tuned into our people and their strengths. In fact, we spend an unusual amount of money for a company of our size on competency testing, team building, and coaching using an organizational psychologist. However, we recently ran some analyses using Novareté - our company intranet platform - that astounded me.
Engaging Change Agents
As a part of our effort to engage and align employees around our company values, we use Novareté; a private corporate social platform that is configured to keep our company values front and center in the minds of our people. Because the platform engages employees with Kudos, Dilemmas, surveys, gamification, and a social board, we have a meaningful pool of data that can be analyzed at any time to assess alignment, engagement, and communication trends. One such analysis we ran measures influence. While influence can be measured in many ways, we started with a simple variable: Kudos given and Kudos received.
Identifying Change Agents
As the name implies, Kudos are recognition that any employee can give to another as long as they select a company value that the Kudo embodies. Once given, a Kudo (along with the recipient’s photo) displays on the Novareté TV, the Novareté homepage, and the Novareté app for all members of the company to see. Here is an example of XSInc’s Kudo traffic in Novareté using a network analysis for 2016:
The size of the sphere indicates the activity level of each employee (numbered to anonymize them). The thing that astounded me when I first saw this analysis is that four of the largest spheres represent employees that I would have never imagined being so socially engaged. These particular employees are very talented, but would be considered introverted and stand-offish; quiet at the least. Yet when viewed through a digital lens, these four are a critical component of our change agency! I thought that I was “plugged in” but apparently not; at least to this degree or within this channel.
Aligning Change Agents
Similarly, using Novareté’s Values alignment analysis (Ve.Q™), I am able to track how well employees (and teams) align to our corporate values.
The Power of Change Agents
As leaders within your respective firms, you may face a similar sentiment - driving change is one of the more daunting challenges we face. Whether implementing a new ERP system, merging an acquisition or simply trying to engage our employees around our values, we need change agents to make it happen – and so do you.
Change agents are often buried in the ranks of your hierarchy or, in our case, quietly doing their job out of sight. However, finding these hidden gems can be critical to the success of your endeavor.
So, much like the theme in the Brad Pitt movie Moneyball, looking at your talent using nontraditional tools will likely uncover a hidden change agency that is aligned and influential and just may provide the ticket to your success. It certainly did for us.
Download a short case study of how Novareté and these change agents kept my company profitable during a down market.
Read Fulton Breen's full bio here.