No matter who it is in the organization, there is one overarching impactful hack anyone can endeavor. Our three sources of truth were Sunny Zhu, Director Data & Analytics, Maisonette; Shilpi Sinha, UX Researcher, Pandora; and Doug Healy, Senior Director, Consumer Insights- Gatorade, Pepsico. These are three distinct leaders in three distinct disciplines within three distinct organizations. But breaking down the feedback, the key proposed takeaway was uniform- the most impactful hack anyone can endeavor is engaging empathy.
Diving into each discussion, showcases iterations of the central perspective.
Hack Data Literacy
Shilpi Sinha’s centrifugal force is broadening data literacy. The perspective there is that data needs to be communicated in a digestible format and using storytelling ensures that objective is accomplished. The concept is borrowing from the old adage of teaching people to fish as opposed to simply providing uncooked raw fish. Sinha goes further suggesting that while teaching stakeholders to fish, provide a full complete and beautifully presented fish-based dish with all of the trimmings. The stakeholder then not only sees what’s possible but understands how to get there themselves.
Once you’ve upskilled your stakeholders, the benefit to the organization if everyone’s level of understanding is advanced and a key goal is accomplished- stakeholders are no longer dependent. Sinha doubled-down on this philosophy by holding a workshop to review the fundamentals of UX in advance of a project rollout to great effect. Realize where the stakeholder begins the journey and shepherd that stakeholder to a new understanding.
Sunny Zhu’s raison d’etre is personalization. This concept is all encompassing. That means utilizing first party data to its utmost powerful effect by starting with what you have, learning what’s most valuable to your most impactful stakeholders and pivoting to those opportunities. It also means investing in tech and data stacks that provide the data needed for the most impactful outcomes to the organization. A clean foundation for technology and data removes process-oriented boundaries and provides clear paths to needed results. Zhu finishes by suggesting, “start small, be agile, evolve over time.” Coming together with the rest of the organization on targeted outcomes helps build systems that are more useful for everyone.
Doug Healy’s battle cry is focusing on influence. As previously covered, the approach must be to understand the cross functional nature of the business. Rather than focusing conversation around method or data, “in a fast moving business world people want and need strategy.” Data is simply a tool for business growth. Business growth doesn’t occur without providing a strategy of how to use that data. Healy urges colleagues to not underestimate the power of how insights are presented. The thinking is that, “methodologies aren’t the secret but how do you bring the outcome to life.” The aim has to be to create deliverables that live beyond the report- that’s what elevates insights.
Each hack suggested points to the same philosophy. Your tools are simply implemented to assist in accomplishing goals. Your methodologies are merely instruments to supplement the provision of strategy for business growth. Engaging in empathy for interconnected discipline executors ensures personal, group and business success.