Join Mike Figliuolo for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting the right data, part of Executive Decision Making.
- Big decisions require a lot of data. But the flip side of that is, you have to be aware of analysis paralysis. When you're making an executive decision, consider multiple sources of data. Look for internal data, external data, sometimes consider analogous situations. Perhaps even in another industry. Look at financial data, customer data, look at your operations. Are there industry reports that you can rely upon as you're trying to figure out which way you should go with your decision? As you're gathering data, don't just tell people the data you want, tell them what you're trying to do with it.
You'll get a better answer. Many times there is data out there that exists that you may not be aware of. And if you go to somebody with a very focused data request, you're likely to get back exactly what you asked for. However, if you tell them "I'm trying to prove this, "and here's the data I want.", they may well come back and say "That's not the data you need, "the data you need is actually over here". Remember, data is not static. Don't restrict your data collection to the period just prior to the decision you're making.
Continue gathering data during and after the decision, and adjust your decision as necessary. Also, have others look at the data independent of your view. Maybe don't even tell them what decision you're trying to make, and give them the data for interpretation. They might have different insights and perspectives than you do. One example of how I've used data in the past was I was responsible for a large customer-facing program.
We had spent millions of dollars putting the technology in place to launch this. Initially the data said it was a great program, and performance was improving dramatically. But after awhile, we continued to monitor and we learned the data were telling us that performance was declining, precipitously. We didn't take action at that point, we let the data mature further and we tried to understand; why were things changing? What were we seeing and what was the impact on the ultimate decision we had already made? The good news was, six months later the data came back and turned positive.
And overall, the program was positive. It was just an issue of the timing of when we were measuring performance. So by monitoring the data over time, we were able to make sure that we weren't going down the wrong path, but we were also prudent in not changing the decision too quickly. So as you're looking at using data for your executive decisions, be sure you're letting people know what you're trying to prove, understand the data over time, and know what different decisions you'll make if the data tell you you're original decision was wrong.
Mike helps you find the data and tools to support your decision, make the call, communicate decisions effectively, and lead your organization through the change. He'll also address common problems that arise from these high-profile decisions: cultural differences, quality of information, trust, and accountability, to name a few.
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- Assessing risks
- Making hard choices
- Getting the right data
- Communicating effectively
- Making the call
- Declaring success
- Dealing with problems