Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oops, We Made the Company Analytical

A recent LinkedIn discussion group was talking about companies adopting the use of Analytics. The gist of the original discussion thread was a lot of firms only ask for reports, and what would it take for them to have a more analytic culture or mindset?
My comment on this post was that sometimes you want to approach these items below-the-radar. Sometimes it is wise to heed the adage “it is better to beg forgiveness than permission”. Build a series of small wins, and you build a momentum that begins to take on a life of its own.
“Oops, we made the company analytical…sorry ‘bout that”
A lot of the management guru initiatives we read about on consultant websites, or hear about at seminars, or entertain during visits, rely on this notion that it will require “strong senior management support”.
There is only so much of that support to go around, and the senior managers might have a lot bigger fish to fry than our analytical culture project. None of us can jump on every bandwagon that comes along.
So rather than wait for that scarce resource, why not figure out ways we can pilot something today? Figure out someone sympathetic to the initiative and use their area as the test case? Pretty soon, the results sell themselves, and we find that senior management support was never really needed to begin with.
That is the power of stringing together a series of small wins.
I would love to hear your thoughts about Small Wins or your stories on this topic if you have them.
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  1. Hey David, completely agree here. I have a similar story about getting upper management support.
    Back in my newspaper days I learned social media on my own time. I had an idea where I would create a Twitter account for the advertising dept. and tweet to our advertisers (I had come up with a list of 100+ of our advertisers who were already on Twitter). We could address their concerns, tweet any limited-time specials, and get to know what our advertisers were doing on Twitter. I didn't think the idea would go over with management, since they were unfamiliar with social media and how to use it.
    I am kicking myself today for not creating it on my own, and "asking for forgiveness" later.

    1. Faye,

      Thanks for your story!

      While it may indeed have been an "ask for forgiveness" strategy, keep in mind that organizational life is contextual - in some firms someone going off and doing something on their own might wind up making that "forgiveness" request in the unemployment line!

      I know I have turned out the way I have due to both the good decisions and the bad ones, and my mistakes have made me stronger, so don't kick yourself too hard!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and share!

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