Organizations are Flattening but Not Taking Risks

riskfactorySo I took a look at the data we’ve been collecting for the last year or so on the Humanize website through our Social Business Readiness Assessment. We took the ideas from Humanize and built them into a 60-question assessment that anyone can take individually online (and if you’re interested in having all your staff take it and getting a customized report, contact me). There are actually 120 questions, but it randomly chooses 60 for you. The questions measure how your organization is doing in the areas that social businesses need to do well, like decentralization, transparency, inclusion, relationship building, experimentation, and ownership.

The results so far are interesting. We’ve had almost an even number of nonprofits and for-profit organizations fill out the assessment so far, though they’ve skewed toward the small side (almost half had less than 5o employees, and 60% had revenue under $10 million). The people who completed the assessment were from all different levels in the organization (13% from the C-Suite) and across all different departments.

For each of the questions, the respondent gave a score of 1 to 10, and it’s not surprising that in nearly all questions, answers tended to be distributed across the possible range. The overall average score for all the questions was just over 6.1. Still, some questions scored higher than others, and although we don’t have enough data to draw any firm conclusions, the initial results are intriguing.

The questions that scored the highest tended to be about decentralization, authenticity, and ownership. They were mostly about how organizations are becoming more flat, collaborating across boundaries, and sharing more information throughout the organization. There were also several questions about authenticity allowing employees to be themselves fully. I was happy to see scores in these areas trending a bit higher.

On the other hand, the questions that are scoring the lowest were about speaking the truth, including difference, and trying new things through experimentation. There were several questions at the bottom of the list that focused specifically on managing conflict. So it seems we’re having trouble with the stuff that requires personal risk and exposure.

Hmmm. So we seem to be growing more comfortable with the distribution of power in our organizations, but when we actually need to show up and act on that power, we might be getting cold feet? I’ll be interested to see how this shapes up as we get more data in.

Please spread the word about the survey. The more data in there we get the better. And when you complete the survey you have the option of sending the results to Maddie and me, and we’ll give you some feedback on your own data.

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