What are influencers, and how are they identified?
There are many types of influencers in an organization beyond those in formal positions of influence. By understanding who these influencers are, change efforts can be more effective, regrettable attrition can be proactively mitigated, and people can be recognized and developed to encourage favorable outcomes.
Influencers are identified through Organizational Network Analysis (ONA). ONA algorithms detect how connected individuals are to other highly connected individuals, based on weighted responses to the following questions:
1. Who is most important for you to have greater access to? (Advisors)
2. Who provides you the best career-related advice? (Career Coachers)
3. Who do you leverage most often for information needed to accomplish work priorities? (Subject Matter Experts)
Relative influence scores range from 1 to 100 for each influencer type, where 100 represents the most influential individual (connected to multiple clusters of highly connected individuals) and 1 represents an individual who makes relatively few meaningful bridges between connection clusters.
Relative influence scores are weighted based on the priority order in which influencers are indicated by respondents. For example, the algorithm assigns more weight to one who is listed as most important relative to one who is listed as second or third most important.
An influencer with a large number of connections may not have a high relative influence score. Likewise, an influencer with a small number of connections may not have a low relative influence score. This is because relative influence scores account for the centrality (or connectedness) of one's connections in the network — not simply the number of connections.