Camera lens implying focus and zooming in

  Footdown's F1.1 Organisational Intelligence Platform   

 
"Organisations are made of conversations." 
 
Ernesto Gore  
Professor, San Andrés University 
 
The F1.1 Organisational Platform is a comprehensive suite of capabilites created to enable leaders to obtain an understanding of all aspects of the organisation they lead, identify areas where action needs to be taken to maintain momentum and select appropriate strategies to achieve those improvements. 

 Footdown's F1.1 Organisational Intelligence Platform  

Footdown's F1.1 is an Organisational Intelligence Platform (OIP). It is a survey and data analysis tool with a built-in expert system delivering focused diagnostics, prognostics and prescriptions. Specifically, F1.1 is designed to enable business leaders to use the knowledge and awareness of their organisation's members, to look inside their organisation quickly, cheaply and purposefully and then to select appropriate intervention activities to ensure the most effective outcomes. This is achieved through the automation of the processes and business analysis expertise built up within Footdown over the last ten years; validated in the field and in collaboration with the University of Bath. 
 

The Process  

The first principal is that all surveys should be 360 degrees. Within that, the F1.1 OIP approach is a two phase process: the first, attaining a general, simple view of the overall health of the organisation. The second (and, if required, subsequent phases) is a zoom-in into one or more areas of concern to get a, still simple, yet increasingly accurate view of specific symptoms and causes.. This concept of General and Simple to Simple and Accurate is a cornerstone of our product philosophy. For the deep theory look here, but, in principal, getting an accurate view of the whole of a complex organisation is both very time consuming, expensive and, at the end, you are left with a very complex model to analyse. Not much gain for a lot of pain. But, casting one's eye, with a specific focus, over the entire organisation - looking for dark spots - and then examining just those spots in detail, can be very quick and very, very effective in a fast moving world
 

General and Simple 

 
The first phase uses scans. Each scan consists of 16 crafted statements and looks at the whole of the organisation, represented by our Seven Domain model, from the perspective of one area of interest. In practice we tend to combine two or three complementary scans in a survey and we call this a Lens. These questions are presented as a series of positive and negative assertions that the participant is asked to simply agree or disagree with. We call these questions clues, as only by building up a database of sufficient numbers of clues can we create a simple, general view of the condition of the organisation with indicators of not only what weaknesses should be further examined, but also the domain(s) within the organisation that are probably out of alignment and where the examination should focus. 
 
At this stage it is also possible to shortlist potential candidate interventions, though only at a fairly low level of detail. 
 

Simple and Accurate 

 
The second phase, the Zoom-In, is generated directly from the results of the first. The questions asked here are all cast as positive assertions and are selected from our growing knowledge-base of 2000 plus clues . Here, the survey style may be agree/disagree or may be presented as simple 'yes/no', or an ‘importance/satisfaction’ quadrant or a Likert type scale, garnering more cognitive responses. 
 
The selection of Zoom-in questions is based on Factors from the identified Domain(s), related to the Lens associated with the Intervention themes identified. There are seven statements, or Indicators, for each Factor; each, once more, examining the same factor but from the perspective of its manifestation within each Domain. 
 
Using the ranked results from the Zoom-in, constrained by contextual information stored about the organisation as part of the account implementation process, we are able to home in on the most applicable interventions, providing practical, implementable advice. 
 
Diagram representing the cycle of investigation through action back to investigation
 
Using Inductive & Deductive enquiry to generate simple/accurate interventions from general/simple statements through an integrated process loop. 

In Practice  

The system is delivered to the end-user on a SaaS platform and has three major UI components; Account Management, Data Collection and Visualisation and Reporting. For additional information about the product's technical architecture please click here
 

Data Collection 

 
Data is collected by asking people with valid knowledge, what they think. Participants can be any person for whom you have an email address or smart-phone text number and who has access to an internet enabled device. Currently, we are certified to run on most browsers and iPad with iPhone and Android devices being added. Primarily, at present, Footdown's F1.1 OIP is aimed at members and associates of the client organisation, but external stakeholders can also be included and we are actively developing interfaces to HR, CRM and eCommerce platforms to facilitate wider participation. 
 
The data collection instrument is a vital component and has been designed to be simple and engaging through the use of gamification techniques which retain the attention of today’s, survey-weary, participants. The primary survey technique is an agree/disagree card game, although other styles can be used where appropriate. We are finding levels of response in excess of 80%. 
 
The tool also supports, at the end of the structured Q&A section , the addition of bespoke or end-user constructed questions allowing textual responses which enable the collection of the unstructured, but extremely insightful, input from members - potentially vital practical observations which can also be of immense value to the organisation. 
 

Visualisation and Analytics 

 
Why a Dashboard? 
 
Obviously, a dashboard looks cool and demonstrates well. But that is not the main reason why the dashboard is a key component of Footdown's F1.1 Organisational Intelligence Platform. There are many additional insights which might be drawn from the collected data and we provide a sophisticated visualisation dashboard to assist further analytics plus direct expert analysis. 
 
The Dashboard is a vital tool for extending the value of the survey Event and for providing further insights not immediately exposed by the analysis engine. Participants in an Event have various client defined attributes which can be used to segment the results. For example, it may be the case that interventions need to be applied at one location or within one function. As the board is interactive it is the fastest way of quickly comparing segments within a Scan or the progress of interventions over time. It is also the fastest way of selecting data sets and effective visualisations for extraction to reports or slides to be used in presentations or workshops – useful both to consultants and in-house users alike. It is aimed a C level executives, usually the CEO. 
 
The tool is also intended to be used to help implement interventions - exploiting other, specialised lenses - as well as monitoring the effectiveness of change initiatives over time. Scans and zoom-ins can be re-run or augmented to track success, expose failure, or disclose unintended consequence – not necessarily canvassing the original participant team. 
 
As mentioned above, the diagnostic tool not only measures the degree of symptoms and where issues surface, but also uncovers causes and areas within the organisation where issues originate. When an organisation has used Footdown's F1.1 Organisational Intelligence Platform over a longer period of time, it is possible to mine the repository for Flares - areas which crop up in an adverse light more frequently than others - regardless of the focus of the Lenses applied. This second, deeper, level of insight can also prove extremely beneficial in the long term. 
 
The dashboard is the tool that allows you to drive, to choose what you look at, what you compare with what, and how it looks. The choices made regarding what data segments to view, and how, can be named, saved and applied to any other similar event or combination of events. The question, ‘I wonder..' can be answered in minutes instead of days or weeks. 
 

System Management  

System management encompasses three main functions; configuring and managing the account, administering Events and, occasionally, creating User-Surveys. 
 

Account Configuration 

 
The degree to which the account needs to be configured depends largely on the type and size of your organisation and the extent and manner to which Footdown's F1.1's capabilities are intended to be exploited.  
 
At its simplest level, for an SME, for example - who intends a one-off, supported, engagement - just identifying the Organisation to the system and ensuring that the default Indicator-set wording is appropriate (there are structural variants for different types of organisation) can be sufficient.  
 
However, for large organisations who intend to manage their own Events and expect to take full advantage of the tool, it is useful to configure the system variables that control segmentation in analyses, contextual constraints for Intervention selection and to upload (from HR or CRM extract) details of all potential candidates such that the system’s sophisticated Participant Selection and Review facilities can be fully utilised. 
 

Event Administration  

Setting up and administering an event consists of Event selection and scheduling, participant selection, participant notification, participant reminder (optionally) and (also optionally) participant end-of-event acknowledgement. Whilst there are default templates for these communications, there are facilities for these messages to be edited or composed by the client organisation and, ideally, the client would take advantage of them. 
 
Participant selection can be executed inside or outside the system. Where the client plans to run a small, one-off event, it is easy to construct a spreadsheet of participants names, emails and analysis groups and to upload these into the system ready for immediate use. Where the client organisation is larger, and/or more committed to the F1.1 OIP approach, it is better practice to load a large selection of candidate details (usually, the whole organisation) and to use the built-in tools to select the team which will give the optimum spread of responses. 
 
Participant login details are sent directly to the participants by the system, triggered by the Event start date, without intervention by the client. By default, all participation and responses are kept anonymous. However, individual participants can elect not to be anonymous and this can be very revealing and useful where, for instance, the CEO or a few board members are participants and would like to compare their view with the wider body. 
 
Survey Selection and Construction 
 
There are four types of survey supported by the system. The first is the Lens, mentioned above, and the first phase of any expert engagement. These surveys are constructed by subject area experts within a meta-structure, defined by Footdown, using structures and formulations created by Dr Mike Carter in association with Bath University. These are proprietary IP and will always be supplied by Footdown or a Footdown partner. 
 
Footdown has developed, and continues to extend, a knowledge-base consisting of a very large number of clues, a selection of which will accurately characterise most organisations This is stored as a five tier hierarchical model descending from the Seven Domains (Leadership, People, Culture, Environment, Design, Execution and Results) through 28 Categories, 100+ Topics and around 400 Factors to 2000+ Indicators. This knowledge-base has been primarily designed to support the second phase (the zoom-in) of the Footdown diagnostic methodology. However, the wealth of questions constructed, and their applicability to many point situations, means that it is quite easy to select a coherent set of Indicators, related to any particular issue, from the Factor level tier. We call this second type a ‘Quick-pass’ and we have developed a suite of tools to assist in the identification and selection of appropriate questions. This facility enables client organisations to obtain a simple, general, view of the perception of the state of the organisation apropos those issues. 
 
As mentioned, the bottom tier of the hierarchy consists of sets of seven Indicators, each representing the parent Factor from the perspective of each of the Seven Business Domains. Following a Quick-pass, the client organisation can construct their own Zoom-in event within one or two specific domains. 
 
Lastly, there is the traditional style survey sheet consisting of sets of statements to choose between, rank or respond to textually. Whilst we cannot yet infer interventions from information gathered this way, it can still be immensely useful in appropriate situations. Specifically, it is quite common where an Event is run to baseline or measure progress in an on-going change initiative, to add a survey to the end of the structured event to gain participants' conscious perception of the effectiveness of the programme.