I just read my good friend and mentor Bjorn’s blog post and it made me think about how closely tied a business culture is to the analytics used in that business. Bjorn posted, “Success leaves clues and so does its opposite. Reality checks are important so we can tell where we are and properly assess what needs to be done. When we can’t seem to find the clues indicating a successful culture it’s time to look for its opposite.”
Let’s look at that comment from an analyst’s prospective. One of the clues I look for in a successful organization is an understanding of how decisions are made. Are they top down? Are the inclusive? And most importantly to me, how much data is analyzed prior to making decisions. For the most part great companies make great decisions and this feeds a successful and healthy culture. When decisions are made off the cuff, with little input from the ranks and without the benefit of good data… you get a recipe for a losing culture.
Bjorn mentions several other indicators of a Losing Culture. I want to add some data driven perspectives to them as well.
1. Lack of clear target, vision, etc. Having good metrics to monitor progress. Setting goals and then reporting and communicating them. There are key ways you can measure if a business has a healthy focus.
2. Lack of alignment. People don’t know how to compare themselves or even worse improve themselves. There is no sense of the big picture and little effort to work across business lines or help other teams. You need a lot of visualization of data and analysis to show how it all fits together. Dashboards and internal web sites, using visualizations like info graphics and data visuals can help people feel aligned and give them a sense of where they fit in.
3. Lack of authenticity. Know if your customers care. Knowing if your employees care about your customers and each other. Knowing if you stack up well with the competition. Knowing what about your business causes others pain and what causes satisfaction. Using surveys, focus groups and other tools to gather feedback will help your business be authentic to your customers and your employees. You cant really have loyal and engaged customers if you don’t come across to them as authentic.
To learn more about Bjorn and his consulting business, you can follow him here: http://fortune100coach.wordpress.com/