October will be a frantic month of activities with a strong focus on Conferences. Check back often for updates and additions. In most cases I will be Tweeting and Blogging live from each conference;

Conferences:

Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP): “2014 Change Connect Symposium” – October 1-2 – Microsoft Campus Commons (http://www.acmppnwnetwork.org/?page_id=326)

Digital Analytics Association (DAA): “Monster Analytics Mashup” – October 16th – Microsoft Conference Center (http://www.digitalanalyticsassociation.org/calendar_day.asp?date=10/16/2014&event=260#.VCWfF8LF-yM)

Information Age (UK): “Data Leadership 2014″ – October 30th – The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel (London) (http://www.dataleadership.co.uk) :

Keynote: “Embracing The Data Leadership Nexus for Strategic Success”

UK Open Data Initiative: “ODI Summit 2014″ – November 2-4 – British Film Institute (London) (http://summit.theodi.org/)

Articles:

IBM Big Data Hub: “The Privacy Corner”. “Privacy, Big Data & Discrimination” (Goes live Oct 9th. Will provide link then)

Information Age (UK): “Transforming into a Predictive Enterprise” (http://www.information-age.com/technology/information-management/123458506/holy-grail-big-data-becoming-predictive-enterprise)

 The Data Leadership Nexus (Blog):

“How to Successfully Execute your Transformational Plan for becoming a Predictive Enterprise” (October 8th)

“The Data Leadership Nexus: (Recap)” (Updates throughout the month) (http://infomgmtexec.me/2014/09/16/recap-the-data-leadership-nexus/)

 

The Data Leadership Nexus is a path to success when it comes to realizing the numerous business benefits of Big Data and Advanced Analytics which have been extolled by so many in recent times and yet realized by so few. It is the linchpin of your Strategic Plan for building & sustaining “a culture of analytics” to foster evidence-based decisioning, deeper & broader insights, full knowledge exploitation and optimized strategic performance while making these behaviors pervasive across your entire enterprise. In my mind it is the path to realize everything data-related that we have been working on for more than 50 years now in Management Theory, Decision Science and Information Technology.

By definition: The Data Leadership Nexus is the intersection of; Top-Down Executive Leadership, A fully aligned Organizational Culture and the full exploitation of Data, Information, Analytics to create strategic outcomes, sustainable sources of competitive advantage and enterprise value within every organization that wants to become a Predictive Enterprise.

I define a Predictive Enterprise as: “The use of Predictive Capabilities driven by data, information & analytics to; optimize decision making, facilitate strategic & operational outcomes, mitigate risks and to exploit insights across the entire Enterprise”

The Data Leadership Nexus is comprised of these basic components;

  • Top-Down Leadership (by the Senior Executive Team)
  • Data, Information & Analytics
  • Organizational Culture 

Each component was discussed in detail in previous postings. They can be found using the following links;

#: Overview & Introduction:  http://infomgmtexec.me/2014/08/05/overview-the-data-leadership-nexus/

#: The Motivation behind The Data Leadership Nexushttp://infomgmtexec.me/2014/07/25/data-analytics-leadership-missing-in-action/

#: Top-Down Leadership:   http://infomgmtexec.me/2014/08/11/leadership-requirements-in-the-predictive-enterprise/

#: Organizational Culturehttp://infomgmtexec.me/2014/08/28/the-role-of-organizational-culture-in-the-predictive-enterprise/

#: Data, Information & Analyticshttp://infomgmtexec.me/2014/09/09/data-information-analytics-as-core-competencies-in-the-predictive-enterprise/

#: Additional Background Material: “Transformational Leadership for Big Data & Analytics Success” (Three-part series): 

  1. http://infomgmtexec.me/2014/06/27/transformational-leadership-for-big-data-analytics-success/
  2. http://infomgmtexec.me/2014/07/11/transformational-leadership-for-big-data-analytics-success-part-2-establishing-top-down-accountability/
  3. http://infomgmtexec.me/2014/07/20/transformational-leadership-for-big-data-analytics-success-part-3-organizational-design-cultural-adoption/

In future postings I will discuss; “How to Build & Successfully Execute your Transformational Plan for becoming a Predictive Enterprise using The Data Leadership Nexus as a Strategic Enabler”. 

The Data Leadership Nexus has five basic components;

1.- Top-Down Leadership (by the Senior Executive Team)

2.-4.- Data, Information & Analytics

5.- Organizational Culture 

We have explored Top-Down Leadership (#1) and Organizational Culture (#5) in previous postings and will now discuss the combined components of Data, Information & Analytics (#2-4).

In the Data Leadership Nexus the role of Data, Information & Analytics are what Michael Porter calls Core Competencies: “a defining capability or advantage that distinguishes an enterprise from its competitors”. They are not the underlying technologies, associated infrastructure and services that the IT Team is responsible for and what most of the industry conversation continues to myopically focus on i.e. Big Data. Instead, they are the inherent intellectual capabilities & acumen found broadly within the Organization and pervasively utilized across the entire Enterprise. It is in these Core Competencies where we manifest the ability to become a true Predictive Enterprise. The Predictive Enterprise is not a technology, it is an Intellectual and Cultural Construct for Creating Strategic Outcomes for each Organization.

The Core Competencies of Data, Information & Analytics compliment others which are specific to the Industry or Service Sector that the Organization serves e.g. Supply Chain in Manufacturing, Logistics in Consumer Goods, etc. They are that critical pillars that every Organization’s Strategies need to be built on and are ubiquitous in use by everyone within the Enterprise i.e. Core.  Every organization leverages and exploits their Core Competencies to create points of differentiation, drive operational excellence, manage risk appetites and to create/sustain other sources of competitive advantage in the modern enterprise.

As Core Competencies; Data, Information & Analytics drive everyday activities to achieve pervasiveness. Sustainable Competitive Advantage comes from the full leverage of these competencies in respect to the competition or other benchmarks (as found in the Government sector). Typical examples of the leverage points within the Core Competencies of Data, Information & Analytics are the following;

  • Data Curation: The continuous development, enhancement & stewardship of historical, reference, transactional & operational data sources to create the highest intrinsic value and agility for the Organization.
  • Information Exploitation: The business contextualization of Curated Data to create maximum leverage points in support of all Strategic, Tactical & Operational Goals set out by the Organization.
  • Pervasive Analysis: The continuous application of statistical, descriptive, predictive and cognitive decision science to Contextualized Information sources for use in Decision Making, Customer Insights, Risk Mitigation, Performance Improvement and Other endeavors that each member of the Organization is responsible for.

Each Core Competency has companion technical domain activities that are the Responsibility of the IT & Service Delivery Team(s). A collaborative framework is established between Data Leadership and IT/Service Delivery to insure maximum effectiveness and efficiency. IT & Service Delivery works in concert with the Accountable parties in Data Leadership (via a mutually defined RACI) to maintain, sustain and optimize the underlying infrastructure and delivery solutions such that the Strategic Value of the Data is maintained/enhanced and that all Information & Analytics competencies can be fully realized. This approach will typically require new structures in the traditional IT functional suite as well as its Leadership Team. These obstacles are easily overcome once the Organization has established a fully accountable Top-Down Data Leadership structure, strong Strategic Direction and a newly defined Organizational Culture which is driven by the beliefs that; Information is an Asset, Evidence-based Decisioning is the norm, and that the pervasive use of Analysis is the critical path to Real-time Insights, Risk Awareness & Business Agility.

Data, Information & Analytics are no longer outliers in respect to the Short and Long-term Strategies of every Organization. They are constituent components of every Organization’s Strategy in the form of  Core Competencies which must be fully leveraged and exploited to achieve the desired Outcomes and to create/sustain Competitive Advantage in a world where differentiation is hard to achieve and razor thin in scale. Each of these must be utilized to their fullest to create and sustain a Predictive Enterprise.

The Predictive Enterprise has three essential elements for Strategic Success; Effective Leadership, A Committed Organizational Culture & The Exploitation of its Core Competencies. In the next installment of The Data Leadership Nexus we will discuss the Integration of all these elements, along with supporting functions which are required, to achieve a full Transformation of the Legacy Organization into a true Predictive Enterprise.

In the meantime you can follow The Data Leadership Nexus discussion on Twitter via the #DataLeadership hashtag, in the September and October issues of Information Age (UK) (www.information-age.com) and at Data Leadership 2014 in London (October 30th) (www.dataleadership.co.uk). Finally, I will also be setting up private briefings for those Enterprises who are interested in how to transform themselves into Predictive Enterprises for this Fall in the US and UK. If you are interested you can contact me via email: richard.lee@infomgmtexec.com

Thanks for following along.

RL

I have a number of interesting Blogs, Articles and Tweet Storms coming up this month. I have listed them in chronological order. Keep an eye out for updates over the course of the month.

Blogs:

Recap: “The Data Leadership Nexus”(IMECS Blog: http://www.infomgmgexec.me)

“Data, Information & Analytics in The Data Leadership Nexus” (IMECS Blog: http://www.infomgmtexec.me)

“Privacy and The Internet of Things (IoT)” (The Privacy Corner: IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub. http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/blog/privacy-and-internet-things 

Articles:

“The Data Leadership Nexus as a Strategy” (Information Age (UK) Magazine. http://www.information-age.com).

Tweet Storms:

Second NIST Privacy Engineering Workshop (IAPP Conference, September 15-16, 2014, San Jose, CA) – Follow #priveng for all relevant Tweets.

Conferences:

“Cyber Threat: Evolving Best Practices in Framing and Managing the Risk” (NACD – Seattle, September 23, 2014)

“Communicating Cyber Risk to the Board” – (ISACA – Seattle, September 23, 2014)

The notion of The Data Leadership Nexus has five basic components;

1.- Top-Down Leadership (by the Senior Executive Team)

2.-4.- Data, Information & Analytics

5.- Organizational Culture 

In this posting entitled,“Organizational Culture” I will discuss one of the most widely mis-understood and under appreciated elements in creating a Predictive Enterprise, that of Organizational Culture and the imperative to change it from being data & analytics illiterate to one where information & analysis is used by everyone to drive each decision and to facilitate every strategic & operational outcome.

The Culture of any Enterprise is based on the long-term strategic direction that the organization has undertaken over the course of its history and the collective experiences along the way. It is shaped daily by the actions and activities of the Leadership Team who have guided this journey. Organizational Culture is the shadow of the Chief Executive Officer (and Senior Executive Team) and is found behind every door and felt down every corridor in the Organization. It is the single thread that ties everyone together within any Organization. Given this, Organizational Culture is the most important component of The Data Leadership Nexus that must be leveraged in order to transform an organization into a true Predictive Enterprise.

As one would expect this Cultural Adoption (transformation) must be driven by the Top-Down Leadership of the CEO and his or her Senior Executive Team. We discussed in my last segment on Top-Down Leadership just how essential it is for the entire Executive Team to “walk the talk” in respect to becoming a Predictive Enterprise. This will manifest from their own competencies and acumen in data & analytics and how they position the use of them in every strategic and operational endeavor that the Organization is involved in. Their Leadership comes from these strengths and their lock-step application of the strategic constructs of;

  • “Information as an Asset”
  • “Evidence-based Decisioning”
  • “Information-driven Risk Management”
  • “Competitive Advantage through Advanced Analytics (everywhere)”

Once Top-Down Leadership has set the tone and direction for the “data & analytics way-forward” by their own personal commitments (via OBM goals) and demonstrated actions, then the Organization must address how to “adapt” the Current State Culture into the Future State model. Many Organizations would tend do apply the traditional Change Management (CM) techniques of; Communications, Training & Readiness Preparation and call it a day. In my experience this will not work by itself. Cultural Adoption is not Change Management!

Cultural Adoption requires Engagement, BootStrapping and Practical Application endeavors to augment traditional CM. It requires the Top-Down Leadership Team to directly Engage with the Organization at all levels. This is not a hierarchical exercise, where “orders from the top” can be cascaded down, but a lateral one where these leaders bring their messages directly to the Front Lines of the Organization,  while personally demonstrating to their own subordinates the commitments that they have made to the successful Transformation into a Predictive Enterprise and all that it portends for success. These Engagement efforts must be genuine and felt by all. The entire Top-Down Leadership team must be in sync working in unison towards the common goal and outcome.

In parallel with Engagement, the Organization must BootStrap everyone’s abilities & understandings as to what becoming a Predictive Enterprise entails and how each of them will play a role regardless of job description. Everyone must be on-board with the plan and approach and be actively participating in the pursuit of the transformational outcome via Training, Mentoring, Coaching & Hands-on Instruction. This will create Cultural Adoption momentum that can be sustained through the continuous application of Engagement and bolstered through the daily Practical Application of data & analytics to every decision and pursuit of operational outcomes.

Practical Application is one of the most critical activities because it intersects with Relevance. For any Culture to Adapt there must be strong Leadership, the attainment of Competencies and Understandings as to the Future State Direction, but also Relevance to them personally. Whether a Mature Enterprise or Start-up each member of the Organization must feel a sense of purpose in order to be an active member of the Culture, much less a contributor to the successful outcome of the transformation strategy. It is essential for all levels of Leadership to empower all members of their Organizational Unit to be contributors to the notion of being a Predictive Enterprise. In most cases this will require a complete re-evaluation of roles and responsibilities such that decision making and insights analytics are core to each Information Workers daily activities.

To become a Predictive Enterprise you need committed Top-Down Leadership and a Culture driven by the pursuit of a common strategy & its goals to then fully exploit your rich Data & Information Assets and Deep Analytics Capabilities. In this posting I have endeavored to provide a thin veneer of the requirements and complexities in adapting your Organizational Culture to become a Predictive Enterprise. It is one of the most significant investments in time, energy and resources but an essential one in becoming a Predictive Enterprise.

In my next installment of The Data Leadership Nexus I will explore for my readers the more familiar areas of Data, Information & Analytics, but from what most will regard as a very different perspective than other Thought Leaders.  Look forward to seeing it soon.

RL

 

 

 

In my last post, I laid out the notion of The Data Leadership Nexus and its five basic components;

  • Top-Down Leadership (by the Senior Executive Team)
  • Data, Information & Analytics
  • Organizational Culture 

I will discuss the most important component of The Data Leadership Nexus in this posting entitled, “Leadership Requirements in the Predictive Enterprise”. 

Much has been written about the criticality of strong Leadership. It is an essential requirement to becoming a Predictive Enterprise. One of the foremost thinkers on Leadership, Warren Bennis passed away just last month (July 2014). He chronicled the attributes and characteristics of “The Modern Leader” in his many books on the subject, but his basic conclusion (in my words) on the role of Leadership was; “We can neither transform, nor reach successful strategic outcomes without strong and effective Leadership from the Top Down”. It is on this point alone that I continue to bristle against the growing advocacy for “Chief Whatever Officers”.

No matter the domain (data, data protection, data security, analytics, digital, etc.), I do not agree with the constant drumbeat to appoint a “czar” to fix (or enhance) a function which is the direct accountability of the Senior Executive Team (whom I will refer to as the SET going forward). What is required here is to address the data, information & analytics shortcomings of the Current Generation of Senior Executives in respect to the Key Attributes of; Education, Acumen, Competency & Operational Experience such that they (and only them) can take assume their critical (and natural) role in the The Data Leadership Nexus. We cannot continue to run away from the real problem as to why we are not realizing the benefits from 50+ years of investing inordinately in data, information & (most recently) analytics. Clearly, the CIO (in all forms and incarnations) has not been able to accomplish this and no type of proxy will be able to be successful either. It is simply a waste of precious time and resources to go down this path (CDO, CAO, etc.) and then discover it didn’t work (once again).

Let’s get started. As some of you may have gathered from my recent article in IBM’s Data Magazine ( http://bit.ly/1vvhwea ) the vast majority of today’s Senior Executives do not have all (or even some) of these major attributes in their favor when it comes to Data Leadership. Suffice it to say that these were not essential as they climbed the organizational ladder and honed their Executive skills over the past several decades. However, because of these shortcomings they now find themselves acting as cheerleaders for strategies and capabilities that they do not really understand in detail, nor can lead from a position of strength. This has lead to the use of a crutch by appointing “a czar” (proxy) or being too timid altogether in pursuing sound strategies and outcomes (i.e. limited capital & manpower investments, short-term benefits realization horizons, being “gun shy” of risks, etc.). This short-sightedness has not compensated for their lack of Education, Acumen, Competency & Operational Experience in data, information & analytics and  is subjecting them to the fundamental executive shortcoming of: “You can’t lead (to success) what you don’t understand”.  How we overcome this challenge is the critical path to success in achieving the Leadership component of The Data Leadership Nexus.

The most immediate path to overcoming these Leadership challenges is to bootstrap all of the required attributes for each member of the Senior Executive Team via Mentoring, Coaching, Advisory activities and Academies/Boot Camps. Time is precious with each of these SET members so a personalized plan must be developed and executed in a fashion that demonstrates real-time progress and an acceleration of results to get to a level of capabilities and understandings consistent of the needs for true Data Leadership. These plans will then have a long-range view in order to maximize and sustain results. There are many Boutique Tier 1 & Tier 2 consultancies who have the practice capabilities to fill these requirements for their clients. Most realize, along with myself that it is essential to transfer the required domain knowledge and skills to SET members to achieve strategic success for the Client Organization. At the end of the day, The Client must lead with Advisors/Consultants providing a supporting role in the background. While these boundaries blur at times, it is the most proven path to success in both the short and long haul.

Most importantly we must better prepare the Next Generation of Executives for their own Data Leadership roles by baking all of these same attributes into every aspect of their personal and professional development activities such that they too can assume the mantle of leadership when it is their time and be fully prepared (and tested in advance) for it.

It’s a challenge to provide the necessary detail of the path forward in a short posting, but I hope that I have conveyed not only the necessity of Top Down Data Leadership, but the urgency of addressing the current shortcomings in today’s Senior Executive Teams such that they can assume this accountability along with all of the others they currently have.

In my next posting I will jump down our list of Basic Components to #5 – Organizational Culture. It is a companion to Top Down Data Leadership and is the reflection of how effective and persuasive that the Senior Executive Team is in both articulating and ultimately executing the Organizations’ Data, Information & Analytics Strategies & Tactics. Look for this next posting sometime soon.

Richard

 

Nexus (noun). “a connection or series of connections linking two or more things”.

Predictive Enterprise (noun). “The use of predictive capabilities (data, information & analytics) to optimize decision making, mitigate risk and exploit insights for competitive advantage”

Anyone who has read this blog and my many articles in Information Age (www.information-age.com) on the subject of the Chief Data Officer (and its many variants i.e. Chief Analytics Officer, Chief Digital Officer, etc.) over the past year or so is no doubt quite aware that I am neither a fan, nor supporter of the notion of a “Data Czar”. I have attended numerous conferences on this topic and have read the entire litany of rationalizations written by so many out there as to why this role is critical in today’s enterprise. Everyone, except me it seems, is full enamored with this notion and are all happy to cheerlead its success even if they don’t have one of their own yet (you know who I am referring to here). I myself have decided to take a different path than the rest of the pack.

Having pondered, much less experienced first hand the challenges of “How to evolve into a Predictive Enterprise” I want to address the three essential challenges associated with this journey; Executive Leadership, Strategy and Culture. Each provides a critical element of success and yet have been left out of much of the Data & Analytics conversations to date (I touched on all three in my last blog series on “Transformational Leadership for Big Data & Analytics Success”). My aim now is to change that and make them front and center in the discussion going forward while combining them with the technology components of Data, Information & Analytics.

When I was developing the notion of The Data Leadership Nexus in my mind I was focused on how to bring all of the key components together in a way that would ultimately create an aggregate response to the needs of a Predictive Enterprise. The most obvious components of the Nexus are the ones that most everyone dwells on; Data (big and small), Information (data with appropriate context) and Analytics (statistical, descriptive, predictive & cognitive), with the less-obvious being the three critical enablers of Executive Leadership, Strategy and Culture. All are not necessarily equal in significance at any particular point along the Predictive Enterprise journey, but all are necessary nonetheless.

For the moment my working definition of the Data Leadership Nexus is as follows;

The Data Leadership Nexus connects Data, Information, Analytics, Executive Leadership and Organizational Culture to create strategic impact, differentiation and enterprise value within every organization striving to become a true Predictive Enterprise). The Data Leadership Nexus represents the single biggest opportunity to realize the benefits that have been extolled about Big Data and Advanced Analytics and is the linchpin for establishing “a culture of analytics” which fosters evidence-based decisioning, deep insights, full knowledge exploitation and optimized strategic performance while making all such activities pervasive across their enterprise. To me it is the realization of everything data-related that we have been working towards for more than 50 yrs. now in Management Theory, Decision Science and Technology.

Having established the definition and rationale for The Data Leadership Nexus, the next step is to define the means to a successful journey to become a Predictive Enterprise.

The first step, and absolutely the most critical, is to firmly establish the role and accountability of Executive Leadership in this nexus. In my last blog post of July 25th (“Data & Analytics Leadership: Missing in Action”) I made the case that the CEO, Board and Senior Executive Team have essentially been MIA during the entirety of the data & analytics journey to date and that if this does not change fundamentally then the benefits of being a Predictive Enterprise will never be realized. I will expand on those beliefs and more in the next installment of The Data Leadership Nexus, entitled “Leadership Requirements in the Predictive Enterprise.”.

Stay tuned.

Richard