C-Suite Confidential: Leadership Malpractice

November 4, 2018

“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion” – W. Edward Deming
Malpractice in healthcare is the result of prescription without diagnosis. How often have you made people decisions without data, based on “gut” instinct? I’ve been guilty. There are many instances where we as leaders have to rely on our gut instincts. However, science and technology have come too far for us to continue down this path of leadership malpractice with people.
Imagine you visit the doctor because of a lump on your head. The doctor spends 6 seconds reading your chart and 10-mins with the examination and says take two aspirin. Ready. Fire. Aim. Wait! What about the other tools available? MRI, CT Scan? By the way, here is some real data. We spend 6 seconds scanning a resume and only 10-mins preparing for an interview.
Without data, decisions are fueled by our biases: cognitive bias, confirmation bias, attribution bias. Our biases are expensive, resulting in carnage across our organizations like an 82% manager failure rate, only 3 out 10 employees engaged, and 45% turnover.
Thanks to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report, we know:
  • Only 8% of businesses have usable people analytics.
  • Only 9% of business leaders believe they have a good understanding of which talent dimensions drive performance.
  • Only 15% of businesses have broadly deployed HR and talent scorecards for line managers in their organizations.
How can we optimize human talent in our organization, when we only have 8% of the picture? Scientific, objective data needs to fuel the development of a business strategy to replace “gut” instincts when it comes to our people. Just as MRI and CT Scans are available to doctors, human analytic tools are available to leaders. When we can rely on science-based technology tools to optimize our people strategy, we can stop committing Leadership Malpractice and get back to our responsibility of leading a healthy organization.