What is the Collaboration Profile
The Collaboration Profile identifies the collaboration roles that you and those in your network play. It can identify the best role for you in the innovation process.
Your network is visually identified in your personal network map, as those that you have interacted with in the time period you have selected.
- The vertical axis identifies the percentage of your connections that are in different departments than yourself. When you have relationships across different departments this reflects the diversity of your connections.
- The horizontal axis identifies the number of people the individuals in your network are connected to.
You will see that the circle that represents you has a halo around it. In the example below you see yourself on the far right with a purple circle.
Those with a large number of diverse connections are classified as ‘Ambassadors’. They are best placed to broker connections for others. They also are well placed to facilitate cross organisational initiatives and will have been identified as ‘influencers’.
Those people with smaller, but still diverse networks, are classified as Agents. Agents are well placed to represent an idea or initiative to a cross organisational audience.
Those people who have large networks, but limited to a small number of business units (perhaps only their own) are classified as ‘Specialists’. It’s possible that these people could be seen as authorities in their field of operation.
Finally, those with small and local networks are classified as ‘Practitioners’. They are considered individual contributors, with little influence on your network.
How to use the Collaboration Profile
At SWOOP we have used these profiles to help individuals assess and guide their leadership development and innovation role:
- Ambassadors are typically visible leaders in organisations. Senior managers, or those showing potential for senior management, are likely to be classified as Ambassadors.
- Specialists are either comfortable with the role they are playing, or if they have senior leadership aspirations, will recognise that they may need to build more diversity into their networks, by actively looking to interact with those outside their home business units.
- Agents are in a similar position, if they aspire to senior leadership roles. In their case they need to grow a larger network, to spread their potential influence. The Practitioner can still be a valuable contributor, but if they have leadership aspirations, they would need to grow both the size and diversity of their network.
The Collaboration Profile at the Business Unit level allows you to see the distribution of roles for your Business Unit peers. Ideally, you would like to see at least some Ambassadors and/or Specialists in your Business Unit network, as it is these roles that tend to drive the most innovative value from your network.
If we consider how organisational innovations occur, we can trace ideas emerging from places where diverse groups meet, promoted by ‘Agents’. For ideas to progress into innovations, they need to be resourced. It is the ‘Ambassadors’ that are best placed to broker connections between the ‘Agents’ and line management/executives who hold the purse strings.
Finally, an innovation doesn’t occur until an idea is implemented. This is where the ‘Specialist’, with its focussed network of collaborators, is best placed to exploit a supported idea and to extract the new value on offer. You can read more on this Explore/Engage/ Exploit Networking concept here.
The Collaboration Profile is a strategic measure. As organisations look increasingly toward digitally enabled workplaces, an individual’s digital footprint will more closely reflect leadership performance and innovation. Why not get on the front foot and aim to build a large and diverse online network, through your online activities? The more ambassadors an organisation can have, the stronger its performance is likely to be.
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