Monday, June 2, 2014

TheImmeasurabletSoftData

In the book titled Presence (2005), Peter Senge, et al, state the following: 
Not only does overreliance on measurement doom modern society to continuing to see a world of things rather than relationships, it also gives rise to the familiar dichotomy of the ‘hard stuff’ (what can be measured) versus the ‘soft stuff’ (what can’t be measured).  If what’s measurable is ‘more real’, it’s easy to relegate the soft stuff, such as the quality of interpersonal relationships and people’s sense of purpose in their work, to a secondary status.  This is ironic because the soft stuff is often the hardest to do well and the primary determinant of success or failure.”  (p. 192) (Bold text is my embellishment).

But, how do we collect that soft data?

Some ways I’ve seen that work reasonably well:
-Actually get to know the people in the organization.
-Ask folks what’s going well and what’s not going well.
-LISTEN, when others are speaking.
-NEVER nip people back in public. EVER. (Even when they may need it.)
-Walk the facilities, walk the grounds.
-Talk personally to your customers (not through surveys).
-Get trusted others to interface with your organization, then provide feedback to you about their experience(s).
-Make the work environment safe for dissenting voices.

You can probably add to the list, but its mostly about creating a trusting, open, and inclusive environment that values transparency and full disclosure.

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