Big Data and Stubborn Minds
Numbers don’t change minds. If they did, then I would never drink from another plastic bottle again after hearing how many disposed water bottles could wrap around the Earth each year. Except, I can’t remember the exact number, because it didn’t stick in my mind. Also, the imagery wasn’t sufficiently scary enough to make me modify my habits. Data didn’t do the trick.
Yet, leaders falsely believe it will. Too many times, they present the logical case and expect everyone to fall into line. And every time, they’re surprised when their great idea, backed by data, boosted by leadership’s enthusiasm, and grounded in sound business sense, doesn’t live up to expectations.
Data-Driven Change Leadership
Leaders who are awash in data that will optimize their business in unprecedented ways will only be successful if they effectively communicate the data-driven solution. Once the big data strategy is set, it’s time to turn to big data storytelling.
The data-driven change you seek must be wrapped in a story that compels people to believe and act. Last year a suburban hospital analyzed their data to determine the three factors that would most increase their operating room utilization and turnover time, thus decreasing costs and ensuring maximized revenue. Roberta, the head of OR operations, digested the data, and together with Toni, the head nursing operations, set the numbers aside and devised a communications strategy for leading the change initiative.
Smartly, they took the step of assembling the likely anti-stories that would arise from staff. These are the stories that people tell themselves that run counter to the story you are trying to tell. This is an important step in change leadership, and all to often, it is skipped. In this case, Toni and Roberta uncovered sentiments that included: “we’ve always done it this way” and “this sounds like more work for the same amount of pay”.
In the process of crafting their own story, they systematically addressed each anti-story. This is essential because the only way to combat an anti-story is with a better story. Data alone will never take the place of the story people hold in their hearts. No matter how perfect your data is and how flawed their stories are, you must be ready with a better story.
Storytelling for Data Strategy
To help data-driven change leaders prepare to win the hearts of those they lead, this new white paper offers a series of workplace-ready communications strategies that will take your big data strategy from testing environment to the real world.
Data speak won’t help you, but storytelling techniques will. Download the white paper now.