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LOOK MOM, I’M
BEING STRATEGIC!
James Valentine | twitter: @valentinejames | james@finch.com
This presentation is based on
research I did while working
on my Masters around
strategic communication
within an organiza...
TYPICAL ORG. CHART
Reporting structures are
created based on different
roles.
TYPICAL ORG. CHART
Reporting structures are
created based on different
roles.
TYPICAL ORG. CHART
We differentiate roles to
reduce duplicated effort and
in that sense bureaucratic
differentiation creat...
How we are
conditioned
to function:
So when we are hired we are
introduced to how things
work…
You Are Here
Referential Power - Learned identity within
the organization based on its structure.
But we often
need to work
like this:
Let’s take a closer look.
You and me are in the same
organization, but in different
verticals.
By virtue of the structure, by
default there’s a void between us.
The org. structure doesn’t lend
itself to this collaboration so most
progress here is made first
through interpersonal
rel...
But if pressure mounts or
collaboration stalls, this can be
fragile. In the absence of
structure, individuals consolidate
...
When collaboration
stalls or pressure
mounts, we revert
back to what we
know…
And what they know comes from
their identity...
So that’s the challenge to
overcome. What can be done
about it?
At conferences you’ll hear
case studies where
individuals ...
GET AN EXECUTIVE
SPONSOR
THE HOLY GRAIL
So that’s the challenge to
overcome. What can be done
about it?
Remember “referential
power?” An executive
sponsor serves as a
reference point that all within
the organization can readil...
They can help facilitate
horizontal collaboration in a
number of ways.
The effect is a vertical
reference point that paves the
way for horizontal process.
Understanding these
dynamics there’s a lot you
can do to seek out that
executive sponsorship.
But in the absence of that
s...
UNDERSTANDING HOW
AND WHY THIS HAPPENS
ALLOWS YOU TO PREVENT
AND PREPARE
THERE’S STILL HOPE
Create a Functional Theory
Be a Probabilistic Communicator
Invest in People
Be a
Probabilistic
Communicator
• Avoid accusations
and assumptions:
make it safe.
Probabilistic
From Nate Siliver’s
The S...
Fear
Uncertainty
Doubt
Opportunity
Value
Gains
Background/
Context
Current
Position
LIKE A HURRICANE
+ -
Fear
Uncertainty
Doubt
Opportunity
Value
Gains
State Observation
Articulate Potential Impact
Make Recommendation
Backgroun...
Be a
Probabilistic
Communicator
• Observe, articulate
impact, and make
recommendations
• Avoid accusations
and assumptions...
Create a
Functional
Theory
Functional Theory
An organizational
communication term.
The process I am about to
outline will ...
• Define the problem
Create a
Functional
Theory
Seems straight forward
enough, right?
• Define the problem
• Identify the criteria
for a good solution
Create a
Functional
Theory
And here’s where
things can st...
• Define the problem
• Identify the criteria
for a good solution
Create a
Functional
Theory
This step often gets skipped b...
• Define the problem
• Identify the criteria
for a good solution
Create a
Functional
Theory
You can help make sure this do...
• Define the problem
• Identify the criteria
for a good solution
• List the possible
solutions
Create a
Functional
Theory ...
• Define the problem
• Identify the criteria
for a good solution
• List the possible
solutions
• Evaluate the
solutions ba...
• Define the problem
• Identify the criteria
for a good solution
• List the possible
solutions
• Evaluate the
solutions ba...
Invest in
People
• Talk with everyone
Find ways to regularly
associate with people from
across the organization.
Sales, ma...
Invest in
People
• Talk with everyone
Two questions to help you get
started:
1) What are the biggest
problems you are tryi...
Invest in
People
• Talk with everyone
• Express gratitude:
celebrate the small
wins
Simple exercise I highly
recommend:
Ta...
Create a Functional Theory
Be a Probabilistic Communicator
Invest in People
IS TELLING THE RIGHT
STORIES WITH THE
RIGHT INFORMATION
THAT DRIVE CHANGE.
YOUR CORE SKILL
Thanks.
Being a Strategic Communicator as an Analyst (Annotated)
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Being a Strategic Communicator as an Analyst (Annotated)

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Why Data Silos Can Be Hard to Break Down: An Organizational Communication Perspective. From InPhase 2016 in Salt Lake City, Eccles School of Business, University of Utah.

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Being a Strategic Communicator as an Analyst (Annotated)

  1. 1. LOOK MOM, I’M BEING STRATEGIC! James Valentine | twitter: @valentinejames | james@finch.com
  2. 2. This presentation is based on research I did while working on my Masters around strategic communication within an organization that I feel helped me be a better analyst. To do that let met first put forward a hypothesis as to why data silos can be so hard to overcome. I’ll then share some principles and practical steps for dealing with it in your daily work.
  3. 3. TYPICAL ORG. CHART Reporting structures are created based on different roles.
  4. 4. TYPICAL ORG. CHART Reporting structures are created based on different roles.
  5. 5. TYPICAL ORG. CHART We differentiate roles to reduce duplicated effort and in that sense bureaucratic differentiation create efficiency.
  6. 6. How we are conditioned to function: So when we are hired we are introduced to how things work…
  7. 7. You Are Here
  8. 8. Referential Power - Learned identity within the organization based on its structure.
  9. 9. But we often need to work like this:
  10. 10. Let’s take a closer look.
  11. 11. You and me are in the same organization, but in different verticals.
  12. 12. By virtue of the structure, by default there’s a void between us.
  13. 13. The org. structure doesn’t lend itself to this collaboration so most progress here is made first through interpersonal relationships.
  14. 14. But if pressure mounts or collaboration stalls, this can be fragile. In the absence of structure, individuals consolidate power and revert back to what they know …
  15. 15. When collaboration stalls or pressure mounts, we revert back to what we know… And what they know comes from their identity in the structure. This is why even when some progress is made in breaking down silos, without continued investment, things can regress back quickly.
  16. 16. So that’s the challenge to overcome. What can be done about it? At conferences you’ll hear case studies where individuals talk about finding executive sponsorship.
  17. 17. GET AN EXECUTIVE SPONSOR THE HOLY GRAIL So that’s the challenge to overcome. What can be done about it?
  18. 18. Remember “referential power?” An executive sponsor serves as a reference point that all within the organization can readily acknowledge.
  19. 19. They can help facilitate horizontal collaboration in a number of ways.
  20. 20. The effect is a vertical reference point that paves the way for horizontal process.
  21. 21. Understanding these dynamics there’s a lot you can do to seek out that executive sponsorship. But in the absence of that sponsorship, what then?
  22. 22. UNDERSTANDING HOW AND WHY THIS HAPPENS ALLOWS YOU TO PREVENT AND PREPARE THERE’S STILL HOPE
  23. 23. Create a Functional Theory Be a Probabilistic Communicator Invest in People
  24. 24. Be a Probabilistic Communicator • Avoid accusations and assumptions: make it safe. Probabilistic From Nate Siliver’s The Signal and the Noise
  25. 25. Fear Uncertainty Doubt Opportunity Value Gains Background/ Context Current Position LIKE A HURRICANE + -
  26. 26. Fear Uncertainty Doubt Opportunity Value Gains State Observation Articulate Potential Impact Make Recommendation Background/ Context Current Position LIKE A HURICANE + -
  27. 27. Be a Probabilistic Communicator • Observe, articulate impact, and make recommendations • Avoid accusations and assumptions: make it safe.
  28. 28. Create a Functional Theory Functional Theory An organizational communication term. The process I am about to outline will likely seem like common sense, but common sense is rarely common action.
  29. 29. • Define the problem Create a Functional Theory Seems straight forward enough, right?
  30. 30. • Define the problem • Identify the criteria for a good solution Create a Functional Theory And here’s where things can start to break down…
  31. 31. • Define the problem • Identify the criteria for a good solution Create a Functional Theory This step often gets skipped because we make assumptions about being on the same page.
  32. 32. • Define the problem • Identify the criteria for a good solution Create a Functional Theory You can help make sure this doesn’t get skipped in meetings and conversations you are in. So what I’m hearing from what you are saying, whatever the solution is, it needs to have such-and-such characteristic?
  33. 33. • Define the problem • Identify the criteria for a good solution • List the possible solutions Create a Functional Theory We often skip straight to this step because it feels like we’re making progress.
  34. 34. • Define the problem • Identify the criteria for a good solution • List the possible solutions • Evaluate the solutions based on the established criteria Create a Functional Theory
  35. 35. • Define the problem • Identify the criteria for a good solution • List the possible solutions • Evaluate the solutions based on the established criteria • Select a solution Create a Functional Theory Documentation is a great way to help make this happen. It becomes something to fall back on, rather than falling back into vertical.
  36. 36. Invest in People • Talk with everyone Find ways to regularly associate with people from across the organization. Sales, marketing, account management, product managers, finance, development, executives.
  37. 37. Invest in People • Talk with everyone Two questions to help you get started: 1) What are the biggest problems you are trying to solve? 2) What keeps you up at night? This will help you better understand how to position your services and your data.
  38. 38. Invest in People • Talk with everyone • Express gratitude: celebrate the small wins Simple exercise I highly recommend: Take two minutes at the beginning of the day to write a quick thank you email to one of your co-workers.
  39. 39. Create a Functional Theory Be a Probabilistic Communicator Invest in People
  40. 40. IS TELLING THE RIGHT STORIES WITH THE RIGHT INFORMATION THAT DRIVE CHANGE. YOUR CORE SKILL
  41. 41. Thanks.

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