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The New Leadership Mindset for Data & Analytics

How Large Companies Can Grow Their Data and Analytics Talent

While many companies are hiring data scientists and other types of analytical and artificial intelligence talent, there is little consensus within and across companies about the qualifications for such roles.

The term data scientist might mean a job with a heavy emphasis on statistics, open-source coding, or working with executives to solve business problems with data and analysis.

Changing Culture Is Central to Changing Business Models

Culture is all-encompassing. It radiates through every action taken inside an organization — including deciding what is made and sold, which employees are hired and retained, which customers are serviced and how what is measured and reported, and where time and money are invested.

Leaders who are serious about creating the organizations of tomorrow have a simple choice: They can stay with the cultural norms that created their prior success, or they can do the hard work to change themselves to ensure success in the future.

Leaders: Change Yourself to Change Your Culture

Cultural norms are deeply held beliefs about the way an organization should work. These norms translate into different cultural products throughout the company, including values, customs, and traditions. Said differently, cultural norms define an organization as well as its sources of growth and value.

For example:

  • If leaders believe in the manufacturing, they make things and measure units produced.
  • If leaders believe in services, they deliver support and measure hours billed.
  • If leaders believe in analytics and AI, they measure data collected and insights generated

Three Steps toward Change

If leaders are itching to change their corporate culture and direction, we recommend that they first follow three steps to challenge their own biases:

Step 1: Leaders need to examine their thoughts and values to redefine them.

Attempts to change an organization’s strategy, products, services, measurements, or reporting will be in vain if leaders don’t realize that cultural change is an inside job. Leaders have to change first.

Step 2: Leaders need to communicate their new identity.

Clearly defining the values that management and the board hold should help an organization create today’s newest business model:

Step 3: Leaders need to measure the impact of new cultural norms on the company’s performance.

To truly transform, leaders must identify new key performance indicators that link to their company’s emerging new identity and track and report them. If you don’t measure it, you won’t manage it, nor will you value it.

Change Your Leadership Culture — or Your Leaders

Organizational culture has a strong impact on the efforts of an organization trying to adopt big data, machine learning, and network-based business models to catch up with today’s leading companies.

The reinforcing loop — culture — is the foundation of that race. If leaders truly want to derive meaningful business benefits from analytics and platform models, they must proactively address their own core identities before trying to introduce large-scale transformation initiatives.


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