Within organization development the more straightforward and understandable the tool or process the more likely it will make a difference.
This simpler the tool the greater the requirement of the consultant or expert to suppress themselves and expertise. When you remove the translator (the expert) from the results and ask people to gather narrative data from their teams and customers, the leaders then own the ideas and have better ways of understanding what is working to increase and what is not working to decrease.
One of my favorite processes for gathering multiple perspectives on the organization is a process called NOISE analysis. Below is a copy of the email and document I send to leaders within the organization to complete before a meeting.
The NOISE analysis is a planning technique of looking at what is working and determining areas to improve. It gives us a format to explore opportunities that we may know about or be missing. When we understand the NOISE conditions, we can create a path towards the future that allows the company or team or project to flourish.
My hope in sharing the steps and the idea is that you use it and see how it works with your team.
Below is a NOIS analysis that I am asking you and/or your team to complete.
You will see the four areas:
Within each area are prompting questions.
Here are suggested steps for completion:
- Explain to your team that this information is being gathered as part of an organizational assessment and that the information will be shared with Mike Cardus.
- The information will be placed into an assessment of the organization and be used to inform us as we create a capacity plan and make progress within the organization.
- Ask them to think about their department when responding and sharing ideas.
- No idea or response is judged or excluded. We are looking for real responses and narrative data from the organization.
- Start with Strengths … and ask them to write, or you capture what was said (please type in this word doc)
- Then move through Needs, Opportunities, Improvements – in that order.
- Title the Document with the Company Name, Department, and who collected the data.
- Email the word doc and bring enough copies for the leadership team at our next meeting.
- What is working well?
- What evidence do you have that these strengths exist?
- What does your team/dept excel at?
- What do others say is your team/ dept strengths?
- When we have ______ this will be a better place to work, or we would be more effective in completing our work.
- What does the team or department need to do its work better?
- What do you need or the individuals within the department need to do the work better?
- What do you need that you do not have to complete your work?
- Other departments/ locations/ companies/ etc… are doing _________ we ought to consider what they are doing.
- An area of untapped talent or underutilized resources is __________
- What do we currently have that could be used differently?
- What small concrete improvements can we as a team/ dept complete in the next 90 days?
- Based on our strengths, needs, & opportunities what areas can we improve?
- What is already working well that we can make work better?
- A consistent area of improvement I hear people wish for is ____________
- One area of improvement that would support our capacity/ growth is ____________