Innerwork Produces Measurable and Lasting Results

Research and Unusual Lasting Results: Findings from Independent Research and Evaluation

The comments below are excerpted from interviews and reports from Dr. Richard Wagner, professor in the School of Business and Economics, at the University of Wisconsin, who has spent years measuring the effectiveness of corporate change programs. As part of his continuing research, Dr. Wagner was invited to independently evaluate the success of the InnerWork Technologies, Inc.’s programs for The Travelers and Hewlett-Packard.  In his own word, Dr. Wagner says:

“Was the InnerWork Technologies program successful? All of the data would suggest that it was a very successful program, especially in the long-run. Compared to other similar programs we have analyzed, this program clearly ranks as a very successful one. The number of significant changes in both the short-run and the long-run was approximately twice the number normally found in programs similar to this one. In addition, the magnitude of the changes was generally greater than the changes we have found in similar programs. We would suggest that programs similar to this be integrated into future training programs whenever possible. The overall impact on team work appears to be a major positive to programs of this type and this one appears to have been particularly effective.

 The InnerWork Technologies program was unique from the start. First of all, few management teams even bother to measure their change efforts. Secondly, I’ve never seen a project seek to make such fundamental improvements in both people and the work environment. -The post-test measurements we took for this program are like nothing we’ve seen in looking at over 20,000 change program participants. In this case nearly every one of the 22 measures went up in statistically significant ways. The post-test measurements we took as the Travelers project evolved are like nothing we’ve seen in looking at over 20,000 change program participants. Nearly every measure went up in statistically significant ways. What’s even more impressive is that these measures remain as high or higher, even after six months.”

The depth of this project has the earmarks of a pioneering effort, not only for HP, but for American business. We were grateful that the Hewlett-Packard team asked us to be involved in yet another successful InnerWork Project.

Measuring organizational learning and culture change

Measurement of organizational learning and corporate culture change initiatives is a challenging task. In an attempt to gather relevant data, we discovered Dr. Richard Wagner, professor in the School of Business and Economics, at the University of Wisconsin, who has spent years measuring the effectiveness of corporate change programs. As part of his continuing research, Dr. Wagner was invited to independently evaluate the success of two InnerWork Technologies’ corporate learning culture projects: the Travelers’ “Vision Project”; and the MID “High Performance Teamwork” project.

Multiple question five point scale surveys were filled out by most team members and analyzed at various stages in the projects: pre-program baseline; post team building sessions; and then at three, six, and nine months post training intervals. Significant and lasting benefits were shown to last well beyond the expected “post-training euphoria” stage and were documented up to nine months into the project. Both clients still report that the benefits and learnings of this work have continued to inspire them and their people even now, up to five years later, despite numerous reorganizations and changes within their businesses.

 

Measures

Dr. Wagner’s study of the program showed statistically significant and lasting improvements to both clients as a direct result of their participation in these programs. The following measures show significant improvements resulting from this work. In reading them keep in mind that the smaller the p-value, the more significant is the improvement The instrument used to measure the two organizations were slightly different, thus some measures are not reflected in both columns. Significant improvements included:

DATA
HEWLETT
PACKARD
TRAVELERS
(p values*)
Trust in peers
.016
.000
Task effectiveness
.012
Feedback received
.000
.002
Interpersonal communications
.000
Shift in locus of control
.073
.007
Honesty level
.002
.000
Support given and received
.000
.002
Effort exerted on the job
.010
Sense of empowerment .000 .002
Working as a high performing team .001
Team cohesiveness .000 .001
Job satisfaction .048
Fun at work .000 .006
Sense of bonding with team .023 .000
Clarity of vision of work setting .002 .009
Mastery of stress .019 .000
Mental fitness .017 .000
Problem solving and
accepting new ideas
.040
Sense of empowerment on the job — .002

* the ‘p-value’ indicates the probability that the behavior would occur by accident, i.e. without the facilitated work/intervention. For example, .001 means there is a 1 in 1000 chance of such a change happening by chance. Therefore, the smaller the ‘p-value’, the more significant the change.

Dr. Wagner also noted that two indicators, “Risk-Taking” and “Locus of Control” (i.e. “I control my own success at work”) both showed significant improvement. These indicate that inwardly individuals felt more confident and genuinely empowered, and that outwardly they felt more trusting and safe to make contributions and raise difficult issues. Neither of these measures had ever shown any change in post-program surveys in any of the many other change projects that Dr. Wagner has studied.


 

Qualitative results

Reports from people throughout the organizations we’ve worked with, and from many of their families, show consistent trends in significant improvements that have both personal and business implications. These include:

  • Improved cross-team and cross-functional collaboration.
  • Increase contact with and trust in management.
  • Greater sense of community synergy and support at work.
  • No more “us and them”.
  • Atmosphere of increased trust and openness.
  • Multiple process improvements.
  • Accelerated movement through transition to new organization.
  • Enhanced organization design and redesign efforts.
  • Improved morale and more positive attitude toward work and team.
  • Improved leadership skills.
  • Improved personal energy management practices.
  • Improved interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Increased effectiveness in dealing with conflict and managing stress.
  • Improved personal, team, and department change resilience.
  • Increased individual empowerment & sense of ownership.
  • Dramatically improved relationships: with coworkers, customers, partners, family, etc.
  • Accelerated formation of strong, cohesive new teams.
  • Accelerated formation and identity as new divisional cultures.
  • Accelerated “high-leverage team formation and development”.
  • Improving teamwork with partners.
  • Continued market dominance, exceeding sales quotas.
  • Increased understanding and valuing of “organizational learning”.
  • Many previously unaddressed concerns and issues are surfaced and resolved.
  • Creating corporate cultures with greater optimism, appreciation, and mutual support.
  • Expanding beneficial influence on communities as learning organization principles and skills reach out to families, schools, houses of prayer, medical centers, civic groups, etc.
  • Creation of “a great place to work!”

For more measures of success see results from the Ultimate Warrior Program for the U.S. Army Green Berets and the Intuit Case Study

Data and Business Case Presentation