The Family Tree™ is a two-question, online survey of a congregation, regional religious association, nonprofit, or other organization that is completed by its members and staff. While most surveys ask evaluative questions of respondents, the Family Tree asks about the connections of members to one another. This enables us to generate a series of maps that show how the organization is relationally networked.
The Map of the Forest
The Family Tree report provides a map of the relationships within an organization, shows which ones are carrying a lot of information and which ones are connecting just a few people. Some relationships are one-way; others are reciprocal. Having these maps helps a leader know how to navigate the relational space of an organization.
The maps show a number of views of an organization. One view shows the Isolates, that is, the folks who are isolated. Another view shows the Islands, the people who are connected to one another but not to the “trunk of the tree”. Still another view shows the Bridges. These people are the glue in an organization. Without the Bridges, the family would fragment into many disconnected clans. The final view shows the Key Figures. These are the major relational intersections in the congregation where a lot of information traffic is flowing. Key Figures are usually informal leaders.