Become More Data-Driven by Breaking These Bad Habits
Six behaviors that stymie managers and companies.
Data is vital to performance improvement, but it must be the RIGHT data for the RIGHT metrics used the RIGHT way. Anything else is useless at best and destructive at worst.
My comments on Redman’s 6 behaviors:
Intuition is very powerful but only if it has been TRAINED – this means over 10,000 hours of direct work in your industry in your functional area. Just never make intuition your only data-point.
Always let the data guide you to the answer. If you try to lead the data to YOUR answer, everyone will suffer. And they will remember your style and therefore mistrust you.
Withholding data in order to be proven right (in the end) and to prove others wrong is a classic sign that you are in an overly-political "turf war". It is setting others up for failure.
And jumping on others for being wrong "leads many to make more conservative and easily-defended, but sub-optimal, decisions."
(BTW, this is one of the many barriers to people more fully embracing creativity when problem-solving – creativity thrives on plenty of good, timely, true data).
Analysis-paralysis’s two biggest causes are:
1) inability to understand the "low risk" is not the same as "no risk"; and
2) unwillingness to make a decision.
While their cures are different, both involve getting outside for some perspective and advice. But don’t wait – delay equals lost opportunity and higher costs.
Group think is dangerously indistinguishable from common-sense. Use creativity-enhancement approaches to give yourself options. You may find better solutions hiding in plain sight!
Mistrust of the data can lead to analysis-paralysis, but is easily cured. Test fast and be willing to start moving based on these results. Start performance improvement in the direction the data suggests – reality will tell you soon enough if you need to change.
While Redman suggests some good ideas to help break out of his 6 behaviors, the reality is that you are better off using the help and advice of a good performance improvement coach. It is hard to make changes to such a fundamental mindset on your own (and I have seen plenty of smart, talented managers hurt themselves trying).
(Of course, Redman knows this, and this is why the article is a solid lead generation piece for him – but I think I can do better at a better price ;-})
Data-usage is heavily linked to culture. If your culture does not support good data-usage practises and approaches, consider carefully if politics or real results will get you the future you want. If it is results, get yourself the results you want and go somewhere that supports your vision of getting real results. If politics, then good luck, watch your back, and wear Kevlar.
See on blogs.hbr.org