How Does ONA Enhance Leadership Development?

Organizational network analysis (ONA) can be a valuable tool for enhancing leadership development in several ways. First, ONA can help organizations identify key influencers and leaders within their networks. By understanding who these individuals are and how they interact with others in the organization, organizations can better target their leadership development efforts and ensure that they are investing in the right people.

Second, ONA can help organizations understand the strengths and weaknesses of their leadership teams. By analyzing the flow of information and resources within the organization, organizations can identify gaps in leadership capability and develop targeted training and development programs to address these gaps.

Third, ONA can help organizations understand the effects of leadership on organizational performance. By analyzing the relationships between leaders and their teams, organizations can identify leadership behaviors that are associated with better outcomes, and use this information to develop more effective leadership development programs.

Overall, ONA can provide organizations with valuable insights into their leadership teams and help them develop more effective leadership development programs.

Performance vs Informal Leadership

Our research shows that two thirds of high performing employees are not recognized as informal leaders by their peers. The real informal leaders often go unrecognized becoming the "unsung heroes" of the organization. When a high performer is proposed by the immediate supervisor to be considered for a leadership development / succession planning initiative, HR has limited options to challenge the proposal.

By adopting performance assessment systems that account for both human and social capital metrics, companies can make sure the identified high potential employees are both high performers and informal leaders, changing their leadership development pipeline by up to 70%.


As companies focus on identifying and retaining hidden talent within their organizations,  organizational network analysis (ONA) offers a powerful tool to enhance the identification of high potential employees (HiPOs) by accounting for both social and human capital metrics in the context of leadership development programs and/or succession planning initiatives.