How Great Data Prevents Organizational Engagement

Data – empirical evidence – is most certainly on the critical path to getting your organization engaged in a change effort. However, sometimes the perceived need for in-depth data analysis can delay the initial push to “get the ball rolling”, a classic case of the great being the enemy of the good. The key is to introduce the right level of data and analysis at the right stage in the process in order to create engagement.

Let’s have a look at the role data can play at different stages:

Stage 0:     No data or apocryphal data. No value to change effort, just gossip, as it doesn’t drive action. Note: Many organizations are stuck here.

Stage 1:     Rough data analysis / 80% solution. Gets people’s attention, creates disagreement and engaged dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Stage 2:     Detailed analysis. Generates discussion about how we should address the issues; advocates for solutions come forward and speak out.

Stage 3:     Focused root cause analysis. Drives clarity on which issues to address and how, aligning actions and engaging the organization as a whole.

So don’t wait until you have “perfect” data and analysis to start engaging with your organization on the need for change. Match your data to the correct stage to move beyond Stage 0. Progressive improvement in the precision of your data will help guide the organization through the emotional and thought process required to embark on a coordinated, engaged change journey.

Philip Croome

Philip has more than twenty years of consulting experience, focusing on improving processes to drive improvements in cost and cash flow performance.  His industry experience includes energy (upstream, oilfield services, offshore drilling, and pipelines), as well as industrial services, technology, professional and healthcare services.