February 15, 2019

The Intelligent High-Performance Organization

Developing Organizational IQ strengthens and sustains high performance

Most industry leaders are evolving data-driven organizations.  All other organizations are trying to figure out how to use data to achieve sustained high performance.  This is reflected in the strong demand for data scientists, who know statistics and are proficient coding in predictive analytics technologies across large data sets.  Interestingly, the demand for data scientists is high because there are very few internal data scientist candidates.  Organizations have been doing very little to develop employees analytic thinking abilities, which is why there is only a very small group of self-motivated people who can satisfy data science requirements. 
People can learn statistics and how to use analytics, but most of the time they become so immersed in the technologies that they have no idea what to do with it. “Give someone a hammer and everything is a nail.”  Analytics vendors sell their products by convincing prospective customers that their analytics tools can answer their questions.  That’s not exactly true.  People need to first think about what they want to know and then ask the questions and develop the answers.  This dichotomy of business people knowing the questions and technology-oriented analtyics people knowing how to develop the answers continues to cause untimely and/or bad decisions that measurably impacts enterprise performance.  What’s the solution?
Developing an intelligent organization that works collaboratively to strengthen and sustain high performance starts with a vision and a strategy!  When every employee is viewed as an intellectual asset to be nurtured and developed to maximize their value, everyone wins: customers, employees and the organization.  So, what is an intelligent organization strategy?
Leadership Intelligence
There is a rapidly rising tsunami of intelligent leaders who are looking at the long-term value of their organization’s strategy, rather than the quarterly view that has been in place for so long and exists at the detriment of organizational performance, employee growth and development and long-term shareholder value. 
The best leaders have a strategy to enable everyone in their organization to be as knowledge as possible about the organization’s business processes and outcomes, products and services, customers and competition.  Understandably, some employees will rise to the occasion, embrace the knowledge and recommend innovative changes…while most will not.  We never know where our next leaders will come from if we don’t nurture them with business knowledge and the opportunity to do something with it.
Employee Knowledge and Skills
People are hired because they have the foundation knowledge and skills to satisfy their job requirements.  As business models and processes evolve, employees must be trained to productively adapt.  When training is not provided, the best employees leave for better opportunities and all other employees impact enterprise performance with outdated knowledge and skills.
Intelligent organizations have proactive training and development strategies that extend beyond current job knowledge and skills requirements to empower all employees to think about the quality and performance (i.e., productivity and expense) metrics for their business unit.  This business-critical information, along with encouragement and mentoring to think innovatively about products, services and business processes is how intelligent organizations become and remain industry leaders.
Professional Analytics
Providing immediate access to business-critical information that supports continuous learning and decisive action across the organization is Professional Analytics goal.  Knowledge is Power!
Professional Analytics is not all about technology, but about transforming information into stakeholder value, and includes:
·         Thinking – How critical and creative thinking are required skills in intelligent organizations
·         Performance Measurement – Knowing what to measure and what not to measure enables us to stay focused on what’s important.
·         Reporting and Analytics – How to use thinking tools to maximize organizational IQ and sustained high performance
·         Visual Analytics – How a picture tells a thousand words and is the basis for storytelling with data
·         Analytics Architecture – Understanding all the work that goes on before business professionals can access and begin to use data.  This enables business professionals to have conversational knowledge with the IT-based Analytics support team that maximizes productivity for everyone.
Long-term value is realized when organizations develop a collaborative knowledgebase accessible to all employees across the organization.  The future is now – do it!