In Change Management, Relationships Are Everything

Profile picture for user mediamonks

Media.Monks

colorful data point diagram

There’s a mistake that many marketers fall prey to at one time or another: focusing on tools over people. It’s easy to see why this kind of silver-bullet thinking is so appealing. Tools have clear features defined for specific outcomes, and are often backed by promising results. The certainty that they’re sold on suggests you, too, can solve your most urgent problems with the push of a button. Meanwhile, people dynamics are messier because they’re invisible and tougher to quantify.

Tools can certainly help teams work better and more efficiently—but they alone won’t get your team where it needs to be. We know from experience that if you don’t address relationship challenges directly, your transformation effort won’t truly be transformative at all. We set out to solve this problem by making collaboration patterns tangible in a way that we could track and measure over time.

For a multinational pharmaceutical client, inefficiencies in team collaboration resulted in overburdened/underutilized teams, as well as creative delays between the in-house team and third-party vendors. “We found that rules of engagement hadn’t been defined,” says Vice President of Enterprise Consulting Matt Lentz. “So our solution lied in looking at emails received within Media.Monks servers, as well as the quantity of messages received from different sources, to help us develop a methodology to track rules of engagement.”

Lentz wrote a brief for our service automation team, which continually seeks out ways to build solutions that add value or enable a business unit by cutting time and costs internally or for our clients. Lead Technical Solutions Engineer in Media Dylan McBurnett answered the call by developing a tool that could assess communication patterns at scale. The communication analysis tool captures send-receive data from Media.Monks email servers. The data is then used to visually map out all of the communications between the client team and its partners—essentially capturing a snapshot of collaboration and connection across the in-housing effort.

The data helped enforce rules of engagement and proactively eliminate security breaches by identifying those who were not authorized to email media buyers independently. But perhaps even more compelling, data visualizations supplied a 10,000-foot view of what communication looked like throughout the organization—and how those relationships were changing over time as communication became more streamlined and efficient.

data diagram with a flurry of data points working together in a circle

Left: Fragmented communications and ambiguous roles and responsibilities within an organization often result in operational inefficiencies, as well as significant bandwidth constraints on resources. Right: Establishment of a media hub allowed centralization and ownership of communications between client and support teams.

data diagram with a flurry of data points working together in a circle

While communications with vendors may be loose when an in-house team is developing its processes and capabilities, establishing a consistent communication cadence with third-party suppliers is important in strengthening partner support in the long term.

Use Data to Design Better Workflows

Every brand is sitting on oceans of data that can help them work smarter—they just might not always realize it. And giving structure to this data can do far more than simply enforce rules of engagement; it can help you proactively avoid the obstacles that inhibit transformation mentioned above. Below are some of the key recommendations we were able to make for our client based on the output of our tool.

Ease burnout by finding people overwhelmed with communications. Emails shared between people implied ways of working together. We created a centrality score to measure which nodes (or people) on the network had the highest association with others. Having a 40% higher centrality score than the next person on the graph suggested an individual may be getting overwhelmed and burnt out. This data gave us the rationale to recommend hiring to ease the burden on some team members.

Build new bridges that help connect teams. While some teams were overburdened, others were underutilized. “We found that some teams and organizations our client had partnered with throughout the in-housing effort were very siloed and uncoordinated,” said Lentz. Likewise, when it comes to in-housing in particular, a common challenge is that new teams may lack the relationships they need with third-party vendors. Visualizations made it easy to spot these gaps, as nodes on the periphery illustrated a lack of connectivity with the rest of the network.

Assess communication improvements over time. The beautiful thing about data visualization is that you can quite literally see change right before your eyes. “Through network analysis and strict communication guidelines, we could see a shift in overall relationship patterns within the organization,” says Lentz. The core team’s increased centrality in the network—indicating high connectivity—emphasized it had achieved the interdependence required for successful media operations.

You can see how sets of communication data can help identify and influence better ways of working. No matter your approach to organizational transformation, relationship building is key. The best tech and tools won’t get you there alone; with the right insights, you’ll have fuel to carry you down the path toward transformation success.

Related
Thinking

Make our digital heart beat faster

Get our newsletter with inspiration on the latest trends, projects and much more.

Media.Monks needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy.

Make our digital heart beat faster

Get our newsletter with inspiration on the latest trends, projects and much more.

Thank you for signing up!

Head over to your email for more.

Media.Monks needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy.