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How do executives and managers benefit from data

Spoiler: it has very little to do with technology.

Bruno Pešec
Bruno Pešec
2 min read
How do executives and managers benefit from data

If modern strategy is all about making a series of educated guesses about how to win, then the quality of thought and data underpinning those very guesses is paramount.

By adopting augmented strategy, the leaders' ability to make the right decisions at the right time dramatically improves.

Executives and senior leaders are all about making the right decision at the right time. And while each decision might be unique, some elements of the process ought to be standardized. By doing so, the following is improved:

  • Consistency. While each leader might be making different decisions, they should all be based on the same data and insights. EVP of Sales and EVP of Product should have the same insight about customer needs. Not only will that improve their decisions, but also contribute to more effective collaboration.
  • Responsiveness. Insight by itself doesn’t have too much value. The magic starts when we act on it. In addition to continuously collecting data and insight, it’s important to go over them in regular intervals, and openly discuss what they mean for the organization’s strategy. Should any of the educated guesses be revised?
  • Commitment. By basing their decision on trustworthy insight, coupled with their experience, they can be more confident. This in turns leads to higher commitment, which in turn leads to higher probability of success. Everything is connected!

Strategy managers are akin to orchestra conductors— connecting people, insights, and workflows—managing decisions across the organization. During our conversations with various heads of strategy, we noticed that they have a lot to gain by using data more critically:

  • Value. Most of the data is already there. By finding new ways to use the existing data, you can essentially turn it into a strategic asset, and unleash bottom-line improvements—for free.
  • Speed. Decision-making process can be messy. That’s why it’s important to connect the right people with the right insights. The easiest way to begin is by understanding the decision that needs to be made, and not by figuring out who are the biggest bosses to include. Start from the end, and figure out who and what kind of insight is needed in order to make the best possible decision.
  • Efficiency. Strategy managers spend a lot of time coordinating people. The problems arise when the majority of time is spent in meetings focused on information-sharing. Reserve the meetings to discuss options and recommendations, not to go through the latest slide deck, explaining every chart and number. Data and insight should be available to all relevant stakeholders. That alone should unlock hundreds of hours in the business.

It's not about big data, it's about the right data at the right time.

If you are interested in practical advice on how to combine human intuition with insights from data to make better strategic decisions, faster, our book Augmented Strategy is now available for order.

Copyright © 2022 Bruno Pešec and Dominik Dellermann. All rights reserved.

StrategyLeadership

Bruno Pešec

I turn corporate innovation into a viable investment.

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