Big data has brought many advantages to many areas providing insights and advances in medicine searching for the cure for cancer to the business world with investments and more recently to Human Resources with the advent of People Analytics.
Talking with data brings cohesion, focus to initiatives. It creates rationale and changes the perception of the real world.
But the dashboard that sits at my table does not entertain the coaching session that made Alan change his career and think about his team as a true leader.
The spreadsheet showing the areas where revenue is low and operational cost is high does not help me to drive a complete change management evolution with a team.
Changing lay-outs, creating new workflow, measuring endless times until we fine tune the best solution are the People to People initiatives. And that is not bound to the power of numbers nor it happens in a desk in front of a computer.
Numbers were invented to portray the world we live in, to explain in a simplified way what we could not count. But getting seduced by numbers and the reasoning we derive from them is a dangerous path.
We may end up convinced that numbers are more important than People and iluded that we can drive change with them.
It came recently to my acquaintance that chemistry shares an important similarity with the business world.
When everyone is talking about the difference between collaboration and cooperation seldom we remember that what persists through time is our real target.
We look for the right teams, the right resources, the right capabilities for the right projects.
Coalescense is when different elements of something join together and become one.
The suffix “co” means “together.” The other half of the word comes from alescere, a Latin verb meaning “to grow up.”
I believe the right cooperation and collaboration only make sense if that team together grows.
If they grow individually and as a group with what they do and what they wish to accomplish.
On the other hand coalescence is an outcome hence not a proxy of means to end but the end itself.
Question is: are we looking for team coalescense or collaboration?
If you ask an artist how her creations come to fruition she most likely will tell you: “…at start: obviously messy, intangible, unclear, cluttered, complex, unknown.”
As she gets immersed into the process of creation she evolves to a level where the truth emanes out of simplicity giving birth to something new: clear, uncluttered, inevitably simple, yet so powerful: art.
The ease of which she (the artist) goes from scratch to a masterpiece is an astonishing journey we are yet to understand. One thing I got from artists: they try. Some try really hard, every single day and learn from what they do.
I try to look at employee engagement the same way. An ecosystem that at start: looks messy, intangible, unclear and specially complex.
We don’t need complex analysis that go from correlations, matrices, regressions and complex predictive algorithms. This may lead us to the mercy of implacable numbers.
To engage, we need simplicity, we need to try and learn. Question is: have you tried?
Have your say.