Archive | News

Just Published: Using Business Ecosystem Mapping to Navigate Complexity

Youth Value Network Map

Excerpt from “Finding Value”: an article just published by OD Practitioner.

Several years ago, I was hired by a software client to help with strategic planning. When the company started fifteen years ago, its product was revolutionary but its uniqueness was not a permanent state. Other companies were offering software that provided similar functions. The channel partner who sold the company’s software was now offering a competitive product. Furthermore, hardware companies were embedding the software’s features into devices like printers, scanners, and faxes. This company needed help figuring out how to move forward amidst these challenges.

Eight years later and 2000 miles away, a diverse group came together to improve the health of adolescents in Austin, TX.

Read more »

Hate Small Talk? Here’s How to Make It Work For You

“Small talk can get big results — but only if you know how to use it,” says Robin Madell on Glass Hammer. Unfortunately, too many of us don’t know how to use small talk. We shy away from networking meetings where we’ll need to use it and cringe as we ask someone about the weather. Yet, small talk has a very important purpose. Learn about that purpose in this article, which features Maya Townsend of Partnering Resources and Dr. Robin Bernstein of Harvard University.

Read more »

Illuminating the Invisible: Mapping Austin’s Adolescent Health System Using Value Network Analysis

Mapping Austin's Adolescent Health System Using Value Network Analysis

I’m delighted to announce that Nonprofit Quarterly has published an article on the work done last year with the Austin Healthy Adolescent Initiative. “Illuminating the Invisible: Mapping Austin’s Adolescent Health System Using Value Network Analysis” provides a case study of how we used a specific technique to paint a holistic picture of how the system works from service provider and youth perspectives.

Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the article:

In Austin, Texas, a diverse group of people—service providers, funders, and policy makers—came together to improve adolescent health. They ran into a critical issue: the adolescent health system was so complex, multifaceted, and dynamic that it resisted traditional analytical approaches.

Read more »

How to Help Managers Lead Change in CIO Magazine

CIO Cover for Helping Managers Lead Change

We’re undergoing significant change and I can’t be everywhere. How can I help my managers lead?

If you’re struggling with how to help your direct reports lead change, you’re not alone. CIO Magazine readers, check your October 15, 2012 issue on page 12 for thoughts on what leaders can do to help their managers with change leadership. In the column, we cover:

  • How to keep managers on track when clients pull their focus
  • What to do when managers are strong technically, but haven’t developed strong people skills
  • How to handle local experimentation during change

The article is not online yet. If you’re not a CIO subscriber and want to read the article, let me know.

Read more »

Handbook for Strategic HR: New Book Coming in November

Handbook for Strategic HR Book Cover

I’m delighted to announce that November 28, 2012 is the release date for Handbook for Strategic HR: Best Practices in Organization Development from the OD Network.

This volume draws on the best thinking on strategic Human Resources from the chapter on Change Management.

Here’s the blurb about the book from Amazon:

The role of human resources is no longer limited to hiring, managing compensation, and ensuring compliance. Since the 1990s, a transformation has occurred. Companies are calling upon a new breed of HR professionals to behave as organization development consultants, helping to determine priorities in running the business, design how work gets done, craft strategy, and shape culture.

Read more »

June 22 Value Network Analysis Workshop with Verna Allee

A sample VNA map

People naturally network as they work so why not model work itself as a network? Any time people come together they take on different roles and define how they will interact. Value network modeling makes this natural pattern of work visible. It captures the real way that people get their work done. In the workshop we will:

  • Compare value network theory and method to other ways of modeling a business.
  • Demonstrate Value Network Analysis (VNA) with examples and cases.
  • Learn basics of the ValueNet Works® method and engage in practice sessions.
  • Lay the foundation for participants to pass the ValueNet Works® Qualification Test.
Read more »

“Successful Change Leadership” at the CEM Annual Global Pension Administration Peer Conference

Just confirmed: Maya will be speaking on organization change management strategy at the upcoming CEM Annual Global Pension Administration Peer Conference on May 8 in New York City. We’ll focus on how pension administration organizations can use proactive change leadership to engage employees, accelerate initiatives, and improve likelihood of success. For more information, see conference co-host CEM’s website.

Read more »

“Becoming a Change Leader (Yes, You!)” at PMI Mass Bay’s Professional Development Day

Logo - PMI-MassBay

PMs are on the front lines of organization change. Yet the statistics on change are dismal. McKinsey Quarterly reported that only 38% of leaders believed their recent transformation effort was better than somewhat successful. And the project success rates (coming in on time, within budget, and to scope) are lower than anyone would like. Clearly, there’s room for improvement. In this engaging, participatory session, participants learn what it takes to become successful change leaders. Specifically, we will discuss:

  • The one method that makes a change initiative 10 times more likely to succeed.
  • The six ways of creating change in organizations.
  • How PMs can use the six way to help provide effective change leadership.
Read more »

Stacking the Deck: Using Hidden Organizational Networks to Develop High Potentials – Session at the Northeast HR Association Conference


How often have you realized, only after an employee has left the company, how critical he or she actually was to the business? Have you ever found your company in dire straits because key positions have been empty for too long? Or have you hired a promising new executive only to see that person fail after just a short time on the job?

If so, you’re not alone. Sixty-four percent of new executives hired from the outside fail at their subject matter experts, innovation leaders, effective implementers, and problem solvers (for a primer on networks, see Networks 101). They show who is deeply trusted, who people go to for leadership, and who might shine on their performance reviews but can’t work well with others.

Read more »

Is your strategy stuck in the 20th century?

Image of "Is Your Strategy Stuck in 20th Century"Sign up to receive the two-document Strategic Resilience set and join our low volume list. We’ll never share your information with anyone. Period.

* - required