Building a Data Culture: Start with New Joiners

The way in which we introduce new leaders to our organisation and how we use data within teams to make decisions presents a huge opportunity for leaders seeking to build a data culture.

This not only allows us to cover a significant leadership surface area but also reduces significant risk from your data investments, drive engagement and inspire new leaders towards a data driven future!

With an ever changing and volatile landscape that many organisations face, it is increasingly important that everyone working within their teams has a clear and consistent understanding of what working at the organisation means now and in a future — a future of data and analytics, AI, digital transformation and other exciting new capabilities and technologies. Indeed, teams are starting to look different, not only in what they’re made up of (data scientists, developers, designers, analytics translators, domain experts) but the way in which they work. Providing a globally consistent induction programme equips new joiners for success in this new environment. New joiners very much want to understand how to be successful in their careers and the way in which they interact and work with data is a critically important part to that.

A well design induction equips all new joiners with an understanding of the whole organisation and how it operates, and helps them understand where they sit within the extend team that they have just joined. Opening up the aperture of new joiners and showing them how to be successful in their careers in the organisation — how they network, connect with leadership, find clarity of where they’re going — facilitates a connected mindset at the beginning of their careers.

A world class, globally scalable induction is made up of two parts:

1. Who We Are…

Many things here don’t need to change from what you’re likely doing right now. We still need to help new joiners to understand our sense of purpose, and how they will contribute to this. Linking Purpose to analytics is a critical connection point — helping new leaders connect with “WHY” we exist as a company and using this as a handrail for exploration using data. Discovering value from the very start!

Going further, introducing participants to the values and behaviours that are important to be successful is a key part, how these impact them in their roles working in cross functional and virtual teams and to explore how these values are demonstrated within the organisation.

Build an understanding of how Cognitive Diversity plays a key part in data driven teams, and how when we stage alternative perspectives in teams we get to better questions! Ironically or not, new joiners inject this into the new teams that they join, so organisations must equip them with the tools to have an impact here.

Finally, to allow participants to network and make connections with new cross functional skills is a huge win — I have seen how bringing together domain and analytics expertise in a fun and social setting opens up new perspectives and breaks what might have been a previous bias.

2. How we work with data…

Through experiential learning we can introduce new joiners to how they can work with analytics overcome typical challenges using analytics.

Through an interactive activity, you can achieve much more than just educated new joiners where the analytic department is, by introducing them to how they align analytics to a business mission, how they interact with analytics / AI to formulate better questions and finally give them some simple tools to take away that they can start to use with their (new) teams.

For example, using a Key Assumptions Check at the start of an analytics project to surface gaps in understanding and ask better questions. Finally, in the right setting, you can expose new joiners to virtual ways of working...

Quick example

We recently ran a simulation with a group of new MBA hires — half of which were in NYC and the other half in London. Here, we got them to work together within a challenging simulation using such digital tools that are now part of the fabric of the workplace -IM, AI etc. All of this needs to be delivered in a highly participative, energetic, practical and experiential manner — no power point presentations delivered by a leader ‘from a script’. The sharing of knowledge and ideas from such an experience also closes the gap between business new joiners and data new joiners — all part of the same team! New joiners have lots of energy and stories to tell — harnessing this in a discussion or after action review is super powerful.

Outcomes

The value of bringing new joiners into the organisation in the right way will set the conditions for establishing an effective data driven culture. The benefits sit with both new joiners and Business and Analytics Leadership:

New Joiners: Early connection & understanding of a data driven culture and their role in it

Business and Analytics Leadership: Confidence & reassurance that we are bringing new leaders into the organisation in a way that will unlock future business value of our data

New Joiners: Clarity about their responsibilities as a data driven leader within their teams

Business and Analytics Leadership: Confidence & reassurance that business and analytics interactions are starting off on the right foot

New Joiners: Clear guidance about core data driven behaviours

Business and Analytics Leadership: Risk management towards data security and governance

New Joiners: Feeling supported & connected to the analytics community

Business and Analytics Leadership: Breaking data silos and the Atomisation of Knowledge

In summary

Through a global induction programme, leaders can deliver a consistent message around how we work with data.

We can help new joiners to integrate quickly into a data driven organisational vision, thereby enabling them to be more effective and successful in their role now and in the future.

We can assist with the mitigation of risk to data investments, as all new joiners will be introduced early to ways of working and what’s available to them.

Both business and data new joiners will be encouraged to establish networks and connections and will have the benefit of a cohesive and data driven culture.

We create powerful simulations that deliver breakthrough performance for virtual teams