Turning Insights into Actions
As leaders we need knowledge to make decisions, but all too often we are too wrapped up in the data to understand how to make it actionable. In short, we rely too heavily on surveys, ivory tower task forces or “management by walking around” and not enough on establishing true conversations throughout the entire organization. But we need to get to something insightful and actionable in order to drive the business forward, so how do we do this? Classic management tools have become ineffective:
- Surveys: allows you to gather data to discuss with your leadership team (or ignore completely) “what” is going on but is usually one directional and one dimensional in that the nature of a survey leads the responder to specific answers.
- Ivory Tower Taskforce: discussing specific strategies with your leadership team or a select group of individuals is myopic and inherently misses information.
- MBWA: management by walking around give the leader a sense of engagement but doesn’t scale and usually isn’t safe for the employees.
There are a few business tenets that should be acknowledged and addressed if we want to succeed as leaders:
- Most leaders will make decisions by either guessing or using their gut. They will either be lucky or wrong and we certainly know it’s not safe to bet on being lucky.
- Decisions drive business momentum and leaders generally know what should be done, but it is the employees, partners and customers on the front line that truly know how it should be done to maximize chances for success.
- Everyone universally knows (or at least assumes) that it is career limiting to let management know when something won’t work as planned. Do you remember the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”?
Ignore this at your peril because statics show that 75% of initiatives fail leading companies to bleed cash and go out of business. In fact, the average life expectancy of a company in 1975 was 75 years, but in 2015 that life expectancy drops to 15 years. At POPin we believe that leaders should embrace knowledge for the sake of action; that ensuring alignment, removing obstacles and promoting recognition will lead to ongoing and predictable success:
- Ensure Alignment: drive success by uniting and engaging the organization in solving how to achieve strategic goals.
- Removing Obstacles: create high functioning workplaces and teams by finding and removing the obstacles in their way.
- Promote Recognition: drive trust in an organization by facilitating public, peer feedback and appreciation.