The newest member of the Council, Innovisor, is a fast-moving management consulting company from Copenhagen that opened-up shop in Washington, DC in early 2013. Innovisor was founded on the simple premise that some of the most valuable insights reside at lower levels in the organization. Unfortunately, all too often these insights do not reach decision makers, and analyses and project execution suffer as a consequence. Innovisor is a global leader in the actionable use of knowledge about the informal organization, mapping and applying intangibles to close the gap between their strategy and how an organization actually works.
While the US market is different from Europe and Denmark in many ways, insights gained regarding optimizing the information and skills of employees is relevant on both sides of the Atlantic. Innovisor has found that management tends to think that they have defined how people work together through the formal organizational structure; however, research shows that lines connecting them on an organizational chart are not always how things get done. Human nature leads people to work together in informal networks formed around shared backgrounds, interests and knowledge. They collaborate in a myriad of tribes, ad-hoc communities and other relationships to share information, solve problems and support each other – this is where the real work is done in any organization.
Innovisor’s research and experience has shown that most companies do not realize the potential power of these essential, but often invisible internal communities. Communications initiatives aim at 100% of a community, but touch 30% and only move 10%. Most change efforts fail due to organizational issues—especially employee resistance if they don’t understand or believe in a change. Informal networks are critical to overcoming such resistance. In order to convince skeptical employees of the need to change, management must identify and mobilize the central connectors in the informal network who exert an outsized influence on peers.
This small group of highly influential employees can ‘infect’ the organization with the changes they have endorsed, turbo-charging the change program. They create ‘social tipping points’ where the change is established as the norm and begins to cascade throughout the organization. New ways of thinking and behaving become self-supporting. Change begins to feel inevitable and can reach a critical mass within about 12 months.
This is where Innovisor is able to assist with essential mapping of the real influencers in organizations. And as experienced management consultants, we can guide companies in the efficient implementation of change and how to better utilize their most important resource – their people.