Don’t Let Data Cloud Your Sight

Gregory Fine

How is your sight?

The big bet that Covid-inspired behavior lasting forever was based on the false premise of data-driven strategy being correct and absolute. Companies that followa data-reliant planning process make their future plans using data from the past. COVID knocked that entire system out of whack. If the future doesn’t look like thepast, being data-driven actually is not really helping but hindering your business.

My colleague Glenn Tecker and I share the belief that the observation quoted and the article that prompted it are worth taking the time to read if you are a leader who believes there is a difference between “data-based” and “knowledge-based” decision making. As an example, extending the logic presented to the pandemic inspired stampede to online meetings and courses raises a cautionary flag. McKinsey reports that folks are feeling increasingly isolated in the WFH, SLACK, Microsoft Teams, GIG environment. That’s why we observe that good guidance for purpose driven organizations is to “adjust and move forward” rather than “pivot and transform”.

Solely “data-based” decision making can dislocate the balance of Hindsight, Foresight and Insight. Data is fantastic at providing deep Hindsight. Today’s leaders need Foresight and Insight to respond quickly. When we work with leadership teams around their “Sight” we often hear conversations around how the data doesn’t jive with “my gut.” This is natural and is in fact, a good sign. It shows the process of creating “Insight” from correlating “Hindsight” and “Foresight.”

Data is critical for an effective “knowledge-based” decision-making process. We like to think of it as the information entered into the GPS to begin a journey. The future remains the one thing you can never know for certain. Informed intuition – the combined hindsight, insight, and foresight of an informed group with diverse experience – remains the best source of projections about tomorrow.

The Bad Bet Tech Companies Made That Got Them Into This Mess