HOW DATA CAN improve decision-making?

Without a shadow of a doubt, data must be at the crux of strategic decision making process. Hence, nowadays it is not uncommon to spot a C-level position responsible of that crucial function; Chief Data Officer. In line with that, data can supply perceptions that support business to respond to its fundamental questions, such as; how can the business enhance customer’s retention and satisfaction levels? As earlier said, data guides to awareness, from which managers and business owners can take actions and decisions that boost the operations. Accordingly, at the outset of decision-making process, we should begin with the business strategy, as getting confused by the potentials which big data can provide along with getting lost in the hype surrounding data is quite easy. Hence, starting with a robust strategy can help to overlook the hype and focus on the difference that is about to have on business (Marr, 2016).

The subsequent step is to recognize the type of data the business wants to acquire or access. It is important to realize that no sort of data is integrally better than the other. Thus, business must emphasize on recognizing the best data for them, the one that possibly will assist them answering their most persistent challenges and bring on their strategic goals. As soon as the business identifies the data it needs, it is advisable to check if the business already possesses few of the sought information, even if it is not instantly noticeable. In-house data represents everything the business presently has or can reach. If the data is not available, then other methods of gathering can be considered, whether that is going to be executed through existing systems or by acquiring or accessing external data.

Subsequent to that, the process of data aggregation begins. Most of this stage depends on allocating the procedures and people who will collect and control the data. Business might buy access to pre-analyzed data sets, in which case data collection is not needed. However, what actually happens, many data endeavors demand some volume of data collection. Subsequently, the analysis stage commences, during which the business analyzes the data to infer useful and meaningful business insights, which will ultimately (if properly analyzed) offer a significant value to the decision-making process.

References: Marr, B. (2016) Data-Driven Decision Making: 10 Simple Steps for Any Business. [Online]. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2016/06/14/data-driven-decision-making-10-simple-steps-for-any-business/#30ceb5675e1e. (Accessed: December 12 2019).

Despite the promise of AI, many organizations’ efforts with it are falling short

HBR in their July/2019 publication, had referred to one of their recent surveys where thousands of executives took part in sharing their thoughts of how their companies use and organize AI and advanced analytics, with the results being far from encouraging as 8% of surveyed firms engage AI in core practices that support widespread adoption. While the rest of them are only applying AI in just a single business process.

Why the slow prog­ress? At the highest level, it can be a reflection of a failure to rewire the organization, particularly that AI along with other promising digital transformation initiatives are facing formidable cultural and organizational barriers. Yet, if the business is blessed with a leader who at the outset take steps to break down those barriers, then they have a significant advantage of capturing the most of AI opportunities.

Corporate Tolerance with Innovation

One of the directly associated problems with innovation, is that a company can tolerate letdown for small ventures, but can’t bear setback for a big one. Accordingly, we can notice Ford, an automobile giant which undertakes loads of tests and trials in order to make failure tolerable. The cause behind making failure acceptable, is due to the risky nature of innovation.

In line with preceding notion, it is worthy to mention that people appear to overlook Apple’s first phone, the Rokr, the one which was extremely catastrophic that even Steve Jobs himself decided to kill it immediately. Nevertheless, what Apple did learn from that experience helped them to lay-down a solid bedrock for the forthcoming series of innovations.

Unfortunately to that, in most other companies, if they would fail with the first attempted product release, it will most probably end up with firing the majority if not all involved individuals. In further extreme scenarios, the firing decision can be followed with a call to leave that sought-after market segment. And if Jobs had the same mentality, then the world would have never had the opportunity to enjoy the smartness and elegance of the iPhone (Enderle, 2016).

Reference:

Enderle, R., (2016), ‘How Ford’s approach to innovation could help Apple‘. CIO Portal. Available online from: http://www.cio.com/article/3020263/innovation/how-ford-s-approach-to-innovation-could-help-apple.html.

Be the Same Boss in Stressful Times That You Are in Calm Times

How would your direct reports describe your behavior under pressure? Many bosses become emotional, controlling, and close-minded — which can have a hugely negative impact on their team’s morale and productivity. To lead effectively when the pressure is on, think about the team dynamic you want to build over the long term. Then think about whether your stress-driven actions support that dynamic or undermine it. For example, in normal circumstances you wouldn’t try to motivate people with fear or threats, so don’t do it during stressful times, either. Talk to your team about why you’re under pressure and what you need from them, and thank them in advance for putting in extra effort. And normally you wouldn’t get angry or shut down in tense conversations, so don’t let stress keep you from listening to others and engaging thoughtfully. Once this period of stress is over, your team will remember how you led during it — so make sure their memories are positive.

Adapted from “When Managers Break Down Under Pressure, So Do Their Teams,” by David Maxfield and Justin Hale.

Being Disruptive

Layton Christensen (2015, p.150) who is being broadly viewed as world’s principal management guru of recent times, had portrayed disruption as a diagram with both vertical and horizontal axes, with every industry having a unique metric on the vertical axis. For instance, in the airline industry, the vertical axis represents routes’ length that would ultimately measure their success. And for any airline company, they would prefer longer routes than shorter ones which is obviously due to profitability reasons. Consequently, giant airliners do focus on their business modeling, promotions and marketing campaigns on the long destinations, that has led new entrants like Ryan Air in Europe and Southwest in the United States to seize the opportunity and disrupt the area that was neglected by industry leaders, which is exactly the way that disruption basically happens.

While in the Information Technology sector, then Christensen highlighted that the vertical axis in their case is the magnitude of engagement, along with the growth potential with involved clients, where usually large IT firms focus more on big accounts and clients due to the same profitability reason mentioned in the earlier example. Consequently, the room will be opened for smaller IT players to grasp the market with less attention, and try to do the disruption there.

Reference:

Christensen, C. (2015), ‘Disruptive Innovation is a Strategy, Not Just the Technology’, Business Today, 23, 26, pp. 150-158, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost. Available online from: https://goo.gl/7aFBnI.

The Top 3 Innovation Measurement Traps :

The first trap is to have a list of limited measurements, with the majority of companies sticking with only 1, in a time there is no magical innovation measurement model up to this very minute that can give a holistic insight over the health state of the ongoing investment. Thus, it will be much more prudent to have a blended flavor of multiple metrics, that will increase management’s awareness and minimize uncertainty along with associated risks.

Moving to the second trap, that is primarily through having an environment that encourages a sustainable behavior of paying too much attention on those innovations that promise highest incremental inflows, which is inadequate for corporations seeking momentous growth.

The third trap is basically when the management outweighs inputs versus outputs. And to put that point into further context, we can refer to the 2006 study for U.S. companies with largest R&D budgets, to find Ford on the top of that list, but without a trace when it comes to the list of most innovative companies. Thus, results and outcomes do matter a lot.

Reference:

Jaruzelski, B., Dehoff, K. and Bordia, R., (2006), ‘Smart Spenders: The Global Innovation 1000’. Booz & Company. Available online from: http://www.strategy-business.com/article/06405?gko=48133.

Digital Transformation and Change Management Practices in Qatari Organizations

I have developed this research to primarily look at identifying and assessing the incorporated challenges as part of the digital transformation and change management practices in Qatari organizations. The outcomes of this research intend to supply the necessary techniques to smooth the journey of change management from the inception stage all the way through execution, completion, and acceptance by the users and business. Furthermore, this research seeks to shed light on a set of influential methods that would help in ensuring a solid transition during and after the digital transformation journey of implementation and operation, with the minimum volume of hiccups and unforeseen risks.

Additionally, this work highlights the urgency of following one of the most nowadays business necessities, which without it, present firms might end up facing a significant struggle to survive and adapt to the new influencing factors of the modern business. Thus, this research covers the benefits of the inclusive digital shift, but without ignoring the extent of necessary conditions, starting with the comprehensive digital strategy, all the way down to the adopted change and project management frameworks, along with the imperative procedures to ensure effective rollout and successful business adoption.

As part of the key findings of this study, business leaders and IT executives must realize the criticality of setting rational and right perceptions for both the leadership as well as employees. Business leaders must evaluate some influential dynamics carefully to observe in which manner their companies can closely align them with the overall digital transformation process. Those dynamics must consider four dimensions: competition, corporate, customer and leadership.

Moreover, IT executives are supposed to utilize their role for the benefit of the business, therefore adding value. They must eagerly try to highlight the set of opportunities and challenges in an engaging manner that can release positive energy. Nevertheless, the corporate culture has a substantial role in discovering the appropriate balance, and IT executives should generally outline their leadership profile for the sake to make the most out of their influence whether it is boosting innovation, leveraging interdependence or even leading from behind, to align it with the executive team (Bongiorno et al. 2017).

Cultural Traits That Can Empower You For the Role of Global Leadership

Global leaders should realize that they are obliged to enforce the sense of responsibility into their organizational structures, and cascade that down in order for their managers to start taking accountability for constructing an inclusive and diversified work space. Nevertheless, what is generally observed is that top successful executives do say and act properly when it comes to the actual perspective of diversity, yet their second level of management, the one that literally orchestrates the daily operations and develop the practice of staff that work there, do not recognize and do not feel responsible for cultural inclusion and diversity. Thus, what is significant for every global leader is to recognize the applicable cultural measures, scale them properly, and consequently concentrate on the mechanism of evaluating staff that are in charge of implementing them. The mission is not relevant to developing new diverse cultural dimensions as much as utilizing variance in order to scrutinize the efficiency of present measures (Fitzhugh, 2011).

Efficient management of workers’ cultural diversity is another significant factor in ensuring success for internationally operating organizations. Accordingly, global managers who consider working in cross-cultural environments should deliberate that as a challenging occasion for corporation’s progress and improvement of working individuals. Furthermore, and in order for global managers to cope with the associated rise of variations, global business mentors and architects must react promptly to the influences of globalization, demographic structures, and technology for the sake to propose explicit improvements on global leadership related traits (Chuang, 2013).

Following the earlier said, competent and resourceful leaders who pursue their target of running a global corporation should significantly enhance their competences to effectively cope with the difficulty of managing individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. Accordingly, they should apprehend and dignify variances, undertake essential alteration to the adopted methods of leadership, as well as being equipped for accompanied challenges and opportunities as part of the experience. Hence, leaders are the furthermost dominant element to achieve highest levels of performance, and it is decisive to back leaders by the specialists of human resources improvement for the sake to settle culturally varied matters via leadership improvement (Byrd, 2007).

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References:

Byrd, M. (2007) ‘Educating and Developing Leaders of Racially Diverse Organizations’, Human Resource Development Quarterly, 18, 2, pp. 275-279.

Chuang, S.F. (2013) ‘Essential Skills for Leadership Effectiveness in Diverse Workplace Development’. Online Journal for Workforce Education and Development. Available online from: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1133&context=ojwed.

Fitzhugh, N. (2011) ‘What Do Leaders Need To Understand About Diversity’, Yale Insights – School of Management. Available online from: http://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/what-do-leaders-need-to-understand-about-diversity.

Change Management

Change must be effectively articulated, passionately owned, and persistently driven to completion (Tichy & Charan, 1989). Employees must be part of the change, know exactly where the company is heading, why it is going there and what is in it for them once they get to the final stop.

People usually hate the change. Thus they shall be encouraged and enlightened about the overall journey the company is willing to take (JWMI, 2015). Change management is the course that helps employees embrace new practices of doing business, and it is certainly not an easy path.

References:

JWMI (2015) What is the role of a leader? [Online]. Jack Welch Management Institute. Available at: https://goo.gl/BNanBL.

Tichy, N. & Charan, R. (1989) Speed, Simplicity, Self-Confidence: An Interview with Jack Welch [Online]. Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://goo.gl/5OCc24.

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