Creating a Change Network Map- Everything You Need to Know

Change network map is method of graphically representing the true political environment which requires to be addressed when planning for a change in an organization. It is usually carried out before stakeholder analysis in the organization and with the aim of identifying key people who can secure sponsorship and influence the change as well as other groups and relationships which are critical for the change to be successful.

This map is created whenever there is a change of direction, sense of inertia or when the organization is experiencing other difficulties during its transition state. It is also carried out when some key players in the change arena are replaced or moved.

How to Create a Change Network Map

The change network should fully represent the organizational political structure which is related to a given change circumstances. For a successful implementation of a change, it is very critical to consider the unofficial and informal relationships since it is realistic to evaluate the way power and influence flows in an organization by focusing on its formal structure. Due to this reason, network map is created from the bottom to the top so as to minimize any chances of replicating the formal structure of the organization.

The following procedure is adopted:

1. Identification of the area to be mapped

This is chosen on the basis of change description. This area can be a particular change component, part of the overall network or even a time boundary.

2.The second step involves choosing the adapters

These are the individuals or a group of people within the organization who will be required to change their skills or behavior in order to enable the change succeed.

3. After identifying the adapters, another group of people referred to as Reinforcing Sponsors are chosen

These are the people whom adapters report the change progress to. They provide critical support or reinforcement for this change and possess the authority to sanction the change by the adapters. The individuals to sponsor the reinforcing sponsorship groups are chosen at this stage.

4. The initiating sponsor is then chosen.

This is a person or group of people who initiate the change. They possess ultimate powers over the change. This means that they can allow the change to proceed or officially terminate it.

5. After initiating sponsors, agents are chosen.

These are individuals who work very closely with sponsors. Their responsibilities include planning and execution of activities and tasks which make it possible for people to adapt to and implement the change.

6. The next group in the hierarchy is influencers.

This person or group of people is very significant when compared to others and is the one who can deliver positive informal communication aimed at encouraging people to adapt to this change.

7. The final step to make in creating this network map is choosing the solution builders.

This is the person who designs the components of the change.

When drawing the change network map, you can use an arrow with a continuous line to show the direction that the legitimizing power follows between the identified roles and another arrow with a dotted line to represent the direction of informal influence.

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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