« It is clear that a new age is upon us. Evidence-based decision-making (aka Big Data) is not just the latest fad, it’s the future of how we are going to guide and grow business. But let’s be very clear: There is a huge distinction to be made between « evidence » and « data. » The former is the end game for understanding where your business has been and where it needs to go. The latter is the instrument that lets us get to that end game. Data itself isn’t the solution. It’s just part of the path to that solution. «
A story explains the data rather than just exposing it or displaying it. A narrative that gives you context to today’s numbers by exploring the trends and comparisons that you need in order to make sense of it all. The belief that Artificial Intelligence can support the generation of natural language reporting from data is what drove me to help found our company, Narrative Science
If we’re going to really capitalize on Big Data, we need get to human insight at machine scale. We will need systems that not only perform data analysis, but then also communicate the results that they find in a clear, concise narrative form.
Because the value of big data isn’t the data. It’s the narrative.
« Our economy has changed. Just as the world’s agrarian society gave way to manufacturing in the 19th century, so the industrial age has now given way to the information age. At the same time, our ability to stay ahead of this change has diminished. »
And not only do workers today need more skills, they need vastly different skills than they did a few decades ago–skills that for the most part are not being emphasized in primary, secondary, or higher education.
The result? Instead of developing passion and curiosity in new areas, students just end up dealing with frustration and failure. Many shy away from entire subject areas, mistaking a lack of foundational knowledge for a lack of talent or ability.
At that rate, we won’t have enough people who are even minimally qualified to fill the jobs of the future, let alone those who can initiate major breakthroughs.
people learning at work rely on social, or informal learning, around 80% of the time. Interestingly, I noted in a former post, Social Learning and Exception Handling, that John Hagel and John Seeley Brown contend that “as much as two-thirds of headcount time in major enterprise functions like marketing, manufacturing and supply chain management is spent on exception handling.” It is not coincidence that the two numbers are aligned.
The most basic point to remember is that exceptions to formal business processes require efforts to design a scalable learning architecture that supports content co-creation needed to adapt to emergent challenges and manage the flow of that adaptation through an enterprise’s ecosystem.
So, we concluded that the quality issues seemed to be caused by people trying to speed up the process as opposed to following their own documented processes.
In other words, the practical knowledge gained from informal learning on the factory floor allowed employees to take shortcuts to speed up batch production, even though the unintended result was to increase off-quality batches.
informal learning, depending on organizational context, has its own limitations that we all need to keep in mind as we think through the ways in which it adds value to business outcomes.
« A manager recently voiced his concerns: “Most employees prefer being told what to do. They are willing to accept being treated like children in exchange for reduced stress. They are also willing to obey authority in exchange for job security.” That is the way we have seen it: managers inspire, motivate and control employees who need to be inspired, motivated and controlled. These dynamics create the system of management and justify its continuation.
If we want to meet the challenges of the post-industrial world, this relationship needs to change. The workers changing their role are often seen as a matter of the extent to which the managers are willing to allow it and give up responsibility. In reality it is as much a matter of how much the workers are willing to grow their (management) capacity and take more and wider responsibility. »
The administrative culture that is found in most governmental organizations is about function specific independent activities. Two functions or tasks are independent if it is believed that they don’t affect each other. The most important communication exists between the employer and the employee, the manager and the worker. The principle is that the execution of two independent tasks does not require communication between the tasks.
The industrial culture of process-based organizations is about dependent and sequential activities. Manufacturing work is about dependent tasks. Being dependent means that the output of one task is the input of another. The reverse cannot normally take place. In sequential dependence, those performing the following task must comply with the constraints imposed by the execution of the preceding task. Since the process architecture is typically quite clear, management coordination is mostly about measuring and controlling whether the execution conforms to the planned requirements.
A creative, social culture is different. It is about loose couplings and modularity, about interdependent people and interdependent tasks. Two people/tasks are interdependent if they affect each another mutually and in parallel. Interdependent tasks call for peer level responsiveness and coordination by mutual adjustments, not coordination by an outside party like a manager.
As organizations want to be more creative and social, the focus of management theory should shift towards understanding participative, self-organizing responsibility and equality of peers.
« Without a doubt, software is changing how HR functions. But rather than spell the end of the human resources function, the nine experts I interviewed predict these changes will provide growth opportunities for HR professionals. This article lays out what will change and why, as well as how HR professionals can prepare. «
« Putting the customer at the heart of your organisation’s strategy has long been the elixir to business success. It seems obvious, doesn’t it, especially as we’ve had CRM systems in place for more than 10 years now?
However, at a recent event in London hosted by Celerity, data & CRM specialists, big players sat around the table and agreed it was still an aspiration and ever elusive goal for many. »
« While it might be plausible to conclude that we should rethink the basics, let me suggest an alternative explanation: The content of change management is reasonably correct, but the managerial capacity to implement it has been woefully underdeveloped. In fact, instead of strengthening managers’ ability to manage change, we’ve instead allowed managers to outsource change management to HR specialists and consultants instead of taking accountability themselves €” an approach that often doesn’t work. «