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ONA for change management: locating opinion leaders

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  • pattianklam
    Hi, Has anyone developed good questions and techniques for locating the opinion leaders in a large organization? This might be precursor to an organizational
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 6, 2006
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      Hi,

      Has anyone developed good questions and techniques for locating the
      opinion leaders in a large organization? This might be precursor to an
      organizational network analysis; the primary goal at this point is to
      do a broad-brush survey of say, 3,000 people asking them to name the
      people they most rely on for understanding changes in the organization.

      Has anyone done this kind of survey, and with what results? What
      questions. I assume questions on the order of:

      **List the names of up to five people you go to when you want to make
      sense of changes in the organization.

      **List the names of those you trust in the organization to be frank in
      discussing organizational issues

      Any other ideas? Practical experience in administering a survey like
      this and managing the results, especially thoughts about the validity
      of the responses?

      thanks,

      patti
    • Paul S Prueitt
      are you looking to map the social discourse by identifying the new thoughts (or memes) as they emerge - from thought leaders? ... From:
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 6, 2006
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        are you looking to map the "social discourse" by identifying the new thoughts (or memes) as they emerge - from thought leaders?
         
         
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of pattianklam
        Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 9:35 AM
        To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [ona-prac] ONA for change management: locating opinion leaders


        Hi,

        Has anyone developed good questions and techniques for locating the
        opinion leaders in a large organization? This might be precursor to an
        organizational network analysis; the primary goal at this point is to
        do a broad-brush survey of say, 3,000 people asking them to name the
        people they most rely on for understanding changes in the organization.

        Has anyone done this kind of survey, and with what results? What
        questions. I assume questions on the order of:

        **List the names of up to five people you go to when you want to make
        sense of changes in the organization.

        **List the names of those you trust in the organization to be frank in
        discussing organizational issues

        Any other ideas? Practical experience in administering a survey like
        this and managing the results, especially thoughts about the validity
        of the responses?

        thanks,

        patti

      • Wally Clausen
        Hi Patti -- I ve done this kind of inquiry, although for other purposes. Make sense is good, but I d be inclined at least to augment it with something more
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 6, 2006
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          Hi Patti --
           
          I've done this kind of inquiry, although for other purposes.
           
          "Make sense" is good, but I'd be inclined at least to augment it with something more concrete; e.g., "if you just learned about a change in your organization, who would  be the first people you would contact to learn more"
           
          For better or worse, I'm usually a splitter rather than a lumper.  So for your second question, e.g., I'd be inclined to split it into an inquiry about possession information and knowledge, and an inquiry about frankness, candor, honesty.
           
          Or, to swing way the other direction, both questions could be collapsed -- "who do you go to when you want to discuss organizational issues."  I think this would be the way to go if you don't want the splitting, or if your intention is to do the splitting, distinction-making, etc., through a later additional survey or inquiry.
           
          Wally

          Wally Clausen
          64 Westland Road
          Weston, MA 02493
          781-894-0793 (phone/fax)
          781-801-8778 (cell)
          wclausen@...

           


          From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of pattianklam
          Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 11:35 AM
          To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [ona-prac] ONA for change management: locating opinion leaders


          Hi,

          Has anyone developed good questions and techniques for locating the
          opinion leaders in a large organization? This might be precursor to an
          organizational network analysis; the primary goal at this point is to
          do a broad-brush survey of say, 3,000 people asking them to name the
          people they most rely on for understanding changes in the organization.

          Has anyone done this kind of survey, and with what results? What
          questions. I assume questions on the order of:

          **List the names of up to five people you go to when you want to make
          sense of changes in the organization.

          **List the names of those you trust in the organization to be frank in
          discussing organizational issues

          Any other ideas? Practical experience in administering a survey like
          this and managing the results, especially thoughts about the validity
          of the responses?

          thanks,

          patti

        • Nathaniel Welch
          For those of you who might be interested, there is a Webinar on social networks which features Tracy Cox of Raytheon. More info available at
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 6, 2006
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            For those of you who might be interested, there is a Webinar on social networks which features Tracy Cox of Raytheon.  More info available at http://ems.intellor.com/?p=200646&t=28

             

             

            Regards,

             

            Nat

            -----Original Message-----
            From:
            ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of pattianklam
            Sent:
            Thursday, July 06, 2006 11:35 AM
            To:
            ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [ona-prac] ONA for change management: locating opinion leaders

             


            Hi,

            Has anyone developed good questions and techniques for locating the
            opinion leaders in a large organization? This might be precursor to an
            organizational network analysis; the primary goal at this point is to
            do a broad-brush survey of say, 3,000 people asking them to name the
            people they most rely on for understanding changes in the organization.

            Has anyone done this kind of survey, and with what results? What
            questions. I assume questions on the order of:

            **List the names of up to five people you go to when you want to make
            sense of changes in the organization.

            **List the names of those you trust in the organization to be frank in
            discussing organizational issues

            Any other ideas? Practical experience in administering a survey like
            this and managing the results, especially thoughts about the validity
            of the responses?

            thanks,

            patti

          • G & K Danis
            I appreciate the value of questions that probe “discussion partners.” What about the leaders with whom we don’t have direct contact, but whose points of
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 6, 2006
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              I appreciate the value of questions that probe “discussion partners.”  What about the leaders with whom we don’t have direct contact, but whose points of view carry a lot of weight in the organization…..are you also trying to identify them??  These folks may or may not be in formal positions of authority—and when they are, they may be “unattainable” for purposes of dialogue due to their social/organizational distance.

               

              Thus, if this fits within your survey objectives, you might want to include a question like, “Name the top 5 people in your [organization/line of business/bureau/whatever limitation] who can announce a change, and you know with certainty that it will take place.”

               

              HTH,

              Karen

               

              Karen T. Danis, CKM/CKEE

               

              -----Original Message-----
              From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of pattianklam

            • Paul S Prueitt
              I want to step in here with some discussion about the nature of measuring the social discourse. I designed the core part of a major measurement system
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 6, 2006
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                I want to step in here with some discussion about the nature of measuring the social discourse.  I designed the core part of a major measurement system directed at understanding a part of the emergence of new thought structure.. (this was for the "New War")... but the deep purpose of my work is in creating what I call the Glass Bead Game, as some of you here know.
                 
                 
                During this time I wrote a position paper on the issues related to measurement not by poling, but by web harvesting of web logs and other materials and creating topic map/ontology temporally ordered.
                 
                My position paper may lead to some discussion here..... I am pleased if it would....
                 
                but do not want to take the themes off of point.
                 
                please excuse the interuption if my note is seen as such
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                Paul S Prueitt
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                -----Original Message-----
                From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of G & K Danis
                Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 1:03 PM
                To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [ona-prac] ONA for change management: locating opinion leaders

                I appreciate the value of questions that probe “discussion partners.”  What about the leaders with whom we don’t have direct contact, but whose points of view carry a lot of weight in the organization…..are you also trying to identify them??  These folks may or may not be in formal positions of authority—and when they are, they may be “unattainable” for purposes of dialogue due to their social/organizational distance.

                Thus, if this fits within your survey objectives, you might want to include a question like, “Name the top 5 people in your [organization/line of business/bureau/whatever limitation] who can announce a change, and you know with certainty that it will take place.”

                HTH,

                Karen

                Karen T. Danis, CKM/CKEE

                -----Original Message-----
                From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of pattianklam
                Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 8:35 AM
                To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [ona-prac] ONA for change management: locating opinion leaders


                Hi,

                Has anyone developed good questions and techniques for locating the
                opinion leaders in a large organization? This might be precursor to an
                organizational network analysis; the primary goal at this point is to
                do a broad-brush survey of say, 3,000 people asking them to name the
                people they most rely on for understanding changes in the organization.

                Has anyone done this kind of survey, and with what results? What
                questions. I assume questions on the order of:

                **List the names of up to five people you go to when you want to make
                sense of changes in the organization.

                **List the names of those you trust in the organization to be frank in
                discussing organizational issues

                Any other ideas? Practical experience in administering a survey like
                this and managing the results, especially thoughts about the validity
                of the responses?

                thanks,

                patti

              • Victoria G. Axelrod
                Patti, I think you might want to parse out opinion leader . Do you mean the technical wizards , folks who really have a handle on the content or the social
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 7, 2006
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                  Patti,
                   
                  I think you might want to parse out "opinion leader".  Do you mean the "technical wizards", folks who really have a handle on the content or the "social mavens" who get the culture and know how things work aside from the org chart.
                   
                  Depending on the particular organizations longevity of employees you will have a different picture.  In traditional opinion survey work getting the demographics clear is the key to interpreting the data from these sorts of questions.  It only takes a few "old timers" to carry org DNA.
                   
                  If your org has been through many mergers, acquisitions, has a relatively new population, has many remote locations, there may be a different take on these questions. If you are asking about culture change - "how we do work" or "credible leaders" the result will be different from technical change  such as "compliance with new regulations", "new product releases."
                   
                  So I would opt for both more specific questions and one in each category, i.e. culture/social and technical so you can vector in on the significant individuals.  I would also opt for some face to face interviews where you can test out a question, have some secondary prompt questions so you can assess what gets the best results. 
                   
                  Vicki
                   
                  Victoria G. Axelrod
                  Principal
                  Axelrod-Becker Consulting
                  445 East 86th Street
                  New York, NY 10028
                  212 - 369 -2885
                  www.axelrodbecker.com
                  21st Century Organization blog http://c21org.typepad.com/
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 11:35 AM
                  Subject: [ona-prac] ONA for change management: locating opinion leaders


                  Hi,

                  Has anyone developed good questions and techniques for locating the
                  opinion leaders in a large organization? This might be precursor to an
                  organizational network analysis; the primary goal at this point is to
                  do a broad-brush survey of say, 3,000 people asking them to name the
                  people they most rely on for understanding changes in the organization.

                  Has anyone done this kind of survey, and with what results? What
                  questions. I assume questions on the order of:

                  **List the names of up to five people you go to when you want to make
                  sense of changes in the organization.

                  **List the names of those you trust in the organization to be frank in
                  discussing organizational issues

                  Any other ideas? Practical experience in administering a survey like
                  this and managing the results, especially thoughts about the validity
                  of the responses?

                  thanks,

                  patti

                • pattianklam
                  Thank you Wally, Paul, Victoria, and Karen, It was great to have this meaty discussion. I am not going forward with this project because of my own time
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 13, 2006
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                    Thank you Wally, Paul, Victoria, and Karen,

                    It was great to have this meaty discussion. I am not going forward with
                    this project because of my own time constraints (gotta get this book
                    done!), and also because the scope (3,000 people) was beyond my
                    capacity. I did summarize and offer back combined insights of ONA-prac
                    to my requestor, which I am happy to share, below.

                    -----------------------

                    Some questions you might pose in the survey:

                    1. If you wanted to learn how an organizational change would affect you
                    personally, who would be the five people you would contact first to
                    learn more?

                    2. You receive organizational announcements and communications from many
                    different people. Of the people who send these announcements, list up to
                    five whose messages are consistently the most credible.

                    3. What are the corporate communications vehicles you rely on most to
                    get more information about changes that affect you (multiple choice:
                    intranet, newsletters, etc.)?

                    4. (if appropriate). Who are the people you rely on most to help you
                    understand changes in policies and procedures?

                    Obviously, the questions need to be phrased in the language of the
                    target group.

                    Collecting demographics is the most important. You'll want to know the
                    geography (region, office location, whatever), job function, position in
                    hierarchy, and so on if you are going to end up with a representative
                    advisory/teaching group or council. Because it's a merged organization,
                    you'll want to know the heritage (legacy company) each person is from.

                    Context. When you ask people to fill out a survey, they would need to
                    know what the purpose is and what will be done with the results. If you
                    did the survey as part of a broader survey, it would be easier, but in
                    any event, people want to know the reason that a question is being
                    asked. In a time of great organizational uncertainty, I'm not sure you
                    would get valid answers. If people know that you are asking for the
                    names of people who can most influence them to accept change, then it
                    will be perceived as manipulative.

                    Interviews. I think the most important thing to do here is to have some
                    interviews with people in this target group and feel them out for how
                    they'd respond to questions like those above if they received them in an
                    interview. Some of the people I talked with suggested that you find the
                    opinion leaders entirely through an interview process, if there is a way
                    to segment the organization into meaningful clusters to identify people
                    to interview. Some names could also be generated by doing some "mining"
                    of corporate web sites, notes groups, newsletters, and so on, to
                    identify potential opinion leaders. Boston Consulting Group works with
                    opinion leaders quite a bit (though not in this particular context).
                    What they do is to get the "top" opinion leader from each of a set of
                    groups, take this group and ask "who's missing?" This snowball approach
                    could also yield good results.
                  • Giancarlo Oriani
                    I m a bit worried by some statements such as I m not sure you would get valid answers or find the opinion leaders entirely through an interview process . We
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 24, 2006
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                      I'm a bit worried by some statements such as "I'm not sure you would get valid answers" or "find the opinion leaders entirely through an interview process". We must not hide the problems, but this seems to challenge ONA on its basis.
                      As far as valid answers are concerned, I'm struggling with this problem using double confirmation questions (e.g. "who do you go to for advice"and "who comes to you for advice" - as Krackhardt suggested me) and then using follow up interviews for not-confirmed answers.
                      Which is the difference from traditional organizational approach when I find opinion leaders through interviews - suppose that you cannot interview the entire group of people, then you have to pre-select them according to traditional methods? I'd rather to interview only "after", to interpret and validate data coming from the survey (with some interviews before to get a feeling of the company and/or test the questionnaire).
                      I'id like to know your experiences.
                      Giancarlo
                       
                      PS: I have not really understood how is BCG working
                       
                               
                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2006 6:49 PM
                      Subject: [ona-prac] Re: ONA for change management: locating opinion leaders


                      Thank you Wally, Paul, Victoria, and Karen,

                      It was great to have this meaty discussion. I am not going forward with
                      this project because of my own time constraints (gotta get this book
                      done!), and also because the scope (3,000 people) was beyond my
                      capacity. I did summarize and offer back combined insights of ONA-prac
                      to my requestor, which I am happy to share, below.

                      ------------ --------- --

                      Some questions you might pose in the survey:

                      1. If you wanted to learn how an organizational change would affect you
                      personally, who would be the five people you would contact first to
                      learn more?

                      2. You receive organizational announcements and communications from many
                      different people. Of the people who send these announcements, list up to
                      five whose messages are consistently the most credible.

                      3. What are the corporate communications vehicles you rely on most to
                      get more information about changes that affect you (multiple choice:
                      intranet, newsletters, etc.)?

                      4. (if appropriate) . Who are the people you rely on most to help you
                      understand changes in policies and procedures?

                      Obviously, the questions need to be phrased in the language of the
                      target group.

                      Collecting demographics is the most important. You'll want to know the
                      geography (region, office location, whatever), job function, position in
                      hierarchy, and so on if you are going to end up with a representative
                      advisory/teaching group or council. Because it's a merged organization,
                      you'll want to know the heritage (legacy company) each person is from.

                      Context. When you ask people to fill out a survey, they would need to
                      know what the purpose is and what will be done with the results. If you
                      did the survey as part of a broader survey, it would be easier, but in
                      any event, people want to know the reason that a question is being
                      asked. In a time of great organizational uncertainty, I'm not sure you
                      would get valid answers. If people know that you are asking for the
                      names of people who can most influence them to accept change, then it
                      will be perceived as manipulative.

                      Interviews. I think the most important thing to do here is to have some
                      interviews with people in this target group and feel them out for how
                      they'd respond to questions like those above if they received them in an
                      interview. Some of the people I talked with suggested that you find the
                      opinion leaders entirely through an interview process, if there is a way
                      to segment the organization into meaningful clusters to identify people
                      to interview. Some names could also be generated by doing some "mining"
                      of corporate web sites, notes groups, newsletters, and so on, to
                      identify potential opinion leaders. Boston Consulting Group works with
                      opinion leaders quite a bit (though not in this particular context).
                      What they do is to get the "top" opinion leader from each of a set of
                      groups, take this group and ask "who's missing?" This snowball approach
                      could also yield good results.

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