From insight to action

Analytics and insight are only as valuable as the results they help unlock

The trickiest part of driving evidence-based change is when it is taken out of the hands of the technicians who create the insight and placed in the care of front-line staff and managers. The CEO can’t be everywhere but they can look for the answer to some quick questions to offer assurance that insight will turn into results or else focus attention on what needs to be addressed so it does.

What are the top priorities and what needs to change?

If everything is a priority then nothing is and so the gold standard for insight is to meet the 1-3-10 rule, which works as follows:
• Within 1 second: I can tell if we are having a good week/month
• Within 3 seconds: I understand what is driving this performance
• Within 10 seconds: I understand the priorities for change or who I need to speak to investigate a specific issue
If you can’t figure this out, it’s unlikely your direct reports will either and some presentational issues probably need to be addressed.

Is there clear ownership and accountability?

It stands to reason that your insight needs to be reviewed on a regular basis to inform changes but it’s still not standard practice in most industries to review key performance information as part of regular meetings across the business or to have accountable owners for each aspect of performance.

Do we have the skills capacity and culture to deliver the changes identified?

Continuous improvement takes continuous effort from staff with the time and skills to change data, systems, processes and the ways people work in a coherent way. They may also need to investigate the root causes of complex challenges and they might need support to do so if these skills aren’t abundant in your organisation.

Did we regularly get the results we seek?

Even great teams miss the target 20-30% of the time but if its not obvious that the performance dial is moving or success is more haphazard then perhaps some of the pointers in this page need to be revisited or else there will be elements of team and organisational culture that need to be resolved first.

Did it stick?

The same can be said for making performance stick. There is a world of difference between a change that becomes part of how things are done round here and a temporary change in behaviour created by a transient management focus. There are many causes for this which can and have taken up whole books, so If you have any specific questions or an example you’d like us to work through with you, you can submit it here. If you prefer not to leave an email address we’ll include an anonymised response as part of the final article in this series.