Technology vs. Human Instinct
Technological advances provide efficiency and analytics. The web, AI, cloud, CRM systems, etc. are taking over. Great improvements are being accomplished and organizations are making better decisions. Yet, how do we ensure that creativity and the human instinct continue to be cultivated without us getting too comfortable with our technological supports? How do we beat the nerds ?
The purpose of this article is not to reduce these efforts, but rather ensure that creativity, innovation, and excellence are also preserved. Specifically, there are several indications that the analytical approach may have some unintended consequences:
- The stock market is a great indicator of world’s dynamics, and innovative companies like Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet are thriving, while traditional companies like IBM and GE are struggling.
- Authors, like Adam Grant in the “Originals,” and many others, point out that progress is dependent upon nonconformists and people who go against the grain.
- Organizations preach objectivity, yet they follow the HiPPO decision process (Highest Paid Person’s Opinions).
How Do Creative and Innovative Individuals Thrive in the Growing Trend of Reliance of Analytics? Beat the System!!!
This may sound impossible, but here are some easy tips:
- Challenge Assumptions. Many analytical models contain numerous assumptions that are seldom challenged. In particular. the data can be highly biased, because it can ignore critical factors or be based on preordained goals. If factors are not appropriate, this can result in incomplete or wrongly determined data. Find the parameters the system has missed and provide appropriate information to complete, or redirect, the research data assessment process.
- Ensure The Analysis Is Dynamic. Our lifestyles have increased in complexity with continual changes; many analytical models avoid difficult issues and, thus, can create incomplete data. Find the issues that have been avoided in your analytical model(s) and advocate for their inclusion and how it affects the outcome.
- Consider Alternatives and the What-Ifs? Most analytical solutions involve a single outcome. The reality of life and business is the need for varied solutions and backup plans. Review the alternatives, and the different outcomes, which could affect the results and probabilities. For example, bringing diverse resources into a situation can greatly alter the excellence in execution.
- Understand Risk. In general, we avoid taking risks. It is more comfortable to stay in the status quo than to uproot and change direction. But, we all know those that don’t risk, also don’t succeed. Taking healthy risks is important for growth of self and companies. We are more afraid of losses than the probability of gains. People are more likely to say “I could get fired,” than “I could get promoted,” regardless of the probabilities or impact. There is a balance between risk and caution.
- Set Multiple Goals. Most analysis focuses on singular goals, like short-term profit. A company needs to consider measuring multiple parameters, such as developmental, personal, staff, and branding.
Analytics and current technological advances provide us tools to make better decisions. The key to success is to not solely rely on them, but to integrate them. Our natural human intuitive forces continue to lead with the support of the new technologies. Freeing yourself from restrictive thought processes, especially in bigger corporations, like “We have always done it this way,” is dead. New paradigms: speed, expertise, flexibility, innovation, and collaboration, produce more dramatic change for organizations. Incorporating new technologies, while cultivating innovation and creativity in the business, will allow new approaches to problem resolution.
Creativity Is Allowing Yourself to Make Mistakes. Art Is Knowing Which Ones To Keep.
Dr. Bert Shlensky, President of StartupConnection.net, is a graduate of the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. He served as the president of WestPoint Pepperell’s apparel fabrics business, and President and CEO of Sure Fit Products. Having provided counseling to over 2,000 clients, he focuses on working with select startup and small businesses.