How NOT to be a “Data Nazi” and Keep Your Team MotivatedFeb 20 2015 · 0 comments · By Jude Calvillo, Insights, Marketing, Research
The advantages of data-driven strategy, viagra sale particularly for marketing, pills are real and significant. To this day, sovaldi however, not everyone is ready to drive strategy from data. This is both because individuals’ reasoning is often -and innocently- self-motivated and because, for various reasons, some teams and cultures still employ consensus-based decision-making for most everything. This includes determining what’s actually going on with part of a business.
That said, one can see where bluntly asking a team to defer their decisions to data could be quite infuriating to a number of teammates. Over time, some might even see it as “fascist.” And history has shown us just how happy people become with fascists…
Therefore, if you aspire to be a data-driven leader but are looking to prevent a revolt, here are a few tips on how to avoid being seen as a “Data Nazi,” which are drawn from my own experiences in having -previously- taxed relationships through promoting market research:
1. Ask Yourself: How Important is it to Optimize this Much Here?
Before sharing or promoting the findings from a data analysis, ask yourself whether doing so would actually be worth it, politically. Obviously, if you foresee no problems with sharing these findings, great; move on to the next step. Otherwise, if you think you’ll encounter significant resistance or marginalization, you should carefully consider the degree to which you stand to optimize a piece of the operation (e.g. a marketing program) and the relative importance of that piece.
For example, if your findings stand to improve a sales team’s conversions from social media leads by a rate of just 1%, and you’re sure that the Sales Director would feel slighted by having to subjugate his team’s routines to what the data says, don’t go for it. Wait till you’ve got something big and juicy, or you’ll look rather obnoxious for sharing, regardless of how impartial your findings are or how much authority your role actually has.
2. Soften the Blow.
Once you’ve got something worth sharing, soften the potential blow as you begin to deliver it. You can do this by, first, taking a few minutes to go over the methodology you used, thereby proving that you don’t have an agenda and that your data was accurate.
Also, something I like to do is stress that, by submitting to whatever the data says, a team can depoliticize a decision. You might be surprised to find that, while some team members might have an agenda for a decision, most of them aren’t actively looking to posture against their teammates. Therefore, simply saying something like this helps calm everyone’s nerves a bit. Then, you can…
3. Focus the Team on Creating Solutions.
During or immediately after delivering a set of findings, try shifting the team’s focus toward creatively addressing the problems and opportunities the findings suggest. This keeps the team’s attention away from the fact that some of the findings may have differed from their opinions, or that they may have hurt one or more teammates’ purported identities.
What’s more, numerous studies (e.g. Jauk, et al. 2013) suggest that most every team member has got a shot at contributing creative solutions, because creativity isn’t as exclusive as, say, technical intelligence. Indeed, you can help get the ball rolling by priming various members of the team to solution types they’d be good at -or excited about- deploying.
Because, after all, you’re not some sort of fascist, and you’re just looking out for the team. You might not even have much formal authority. It’s the data that has -or should have- the ultimate say.
Follow the above in the order I’ve suggested, and you may someday have your minions -just kidding! I mean teammates- pumping their fists in celebration, rather than clenching them, begrudged.
Jude Calvillo is the Co-Founder of a Stealth-Mode Startup in the Behavioral Sciences. He’s also a marketing researcher, strategist, and interactive producer at Sovereign Market, whose past clients include SRI International, Medtronic (Corevalve), and United Talent Agency. He holds a Masters in Communication from the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors in Political Science from UCLA.