Organisations often overlook the power of hidden influencers, who can significantly boost performance. These individuals, not necessarily in formal leadership roles, can influence colleagues due to their expertise, skills, or personal attributes. Identifying these influencers can be challenging but is crucial for organisational success.

Organisational network analysis (ONA) is a method that can help identify these hidden influencers. ONA maps formal and informal relationships within an organisation, revealing the individuals who are central to the network. By analysing patterns of communication, decision-making, and problem-solving, ONA can identify the key influencers who can drive change.

A case study of a global IT services company showed that leveraging these hidden influencers improved performance. The company used ONA to identify 10% of employees who were central to the network and targeted them with a change programme. As a result, the company saw a 65% increase in productivity and a 32% decrease in voluntary turnover.

Despite the potential benefits, many organisations hesitate to use ONA due to concerns about privacy and misuse of information. It’s crucial to use ONA ethically, respecting employees’ privacy while utilising the insights to improve organisational performance.

In summary, hidden influencers play a vital role in organisations. By using tools like ONA, businesses can identify these individuals and leverage their influence for improved performance. However, ethical considerations must be taken into account when using such methods.

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