StrategyDriven Podcast Special Edition 38 – An Interview with Robert Morison, co-author of Analytics at Work

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag articles on the StrategyDriven website.

Special Edition 38 – An Interview with Robert Morison, co-author of Analytics at Work explores how to leverage analytics to make better business decisions that ultimately lead to superior business results. During our discussion, Robert Morison, co-author of Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results shares with us his insights and illustrative examples regarding:

  • the tangible benefits leaders realize as a result of incorporating analytics in their decision-making process
  • balancing the art and science of decision-making and recognizing when the process is out-of-balance
  • types of questions analytics can help answer
  • the five stages of analytical maturity
  • the five key analytics DELTA components: Data, Enterprise, Leadership, Targets, and Analysts

Additional Information

In addition to the invaluable insights Robert shares in Analytics at Work and this special edition podcast are the resources accessible from his website,   Robert’s book, Analytics at Work, can be purchased by clicking here.

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About the Author

Robert Morison is co-author of Analytics at Work. For the past twenty years, Robert has led breakthrough research at the intersection of business, technology, and human asset management. He has written or overseen more than 130 research and management reports on topics ranging from business reengineering to electronic business to workforce demographics. Robert is co-author of three Harvard Business Review articles and Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills And Talent. To read Robert’s complete biography, click here.

Don’t Fail Like Edison Did

Tales of successful innovation are told – as good stories ought to be – in linear fashion, with the focus on a single triumphant hero. For example: Edison realized the potential for creating light with electricity, tested a wide variety of light-bulb filaments, and finally came up with one that worked well.

The implication is that innovation proceeds in a neat, orderly progression, from our hero recognizing the need, to testing solutions, and finally, rolling out the best one and smiling all the way to the bank.

Not so fast! The reality of innovation is very different from the historical depiction of it. Innovation is messy and wasteful, and it rarely moves in a straight line from problem to solution. The history of the light-bulb illustrates the gap between how we like to recall innovation, and how it really happens.

While Edison and his lab played an important role by contributing a design that made it into commercial use for a time, the fact is that Edison did not invent either the modern incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. Edison’s light bulb design, a thin piece of carbon in a vacuum, is not in use today. Our bulbs are either based on the tungsten filament patented by Willis R. Whitney in 1903, or the mercury vapor light patented by Peter Cooper Hewitt in 1901. Edison is not the father of modern light-bulbs, he is more like a first cousin twice removed.

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About the Author

Alex Hiam ( is the author of more than 20 popular books on business, including Business Innovation For Dummies, Marketing For Dummies, and Marketing Kit for Dummies. A lecturer at the business school at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he has consulted with many Fortune 500 firms and large U.S. government agencies.

StrategyDriven Standards and Expectations Article

Standards and Expectations – Defining Performance Standards, part 1 of 8

StrategyDriven Standards and Expectations ArticleStandards and expectations define how work is to be performed; providing guidance for the consistent, efficient, value-based execution of tasks. At the outset, developing a comprehensive set of performance standards often appears to be an overwhelming and daunting task as employees within even the ‘least complex’ organizations perform countless different activities every day. However, it is not intended that performance standards be developed for every conceivable activity. Rather, standards should be formulated for those activities reflecting organizational values, implementing corporate strategy, and presenting significant risk. The documented basis behind this finite set of standards provides the guidance needed for employees to make rational judgments about the conduct of less significant activities.

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StrategyDriven Change Management Article

When Does Change Happen?

StrategyDriven Change Management ArticleRecently, a client called to ask for help: she wanted her franchisees to add Buying Facilitation® to their sales skills so they could close more sales.

I sent them a couple of blog posts to help them rethink the differences between pushing a solution and first managing the change that a new solution would require. We then had a phone conference.

With a 2% close rate, these folks defended their current skills: by any rational standard they rejected the possibility of being more successful, preferring to maintain their status quo. Were they irrational?

I don’t believe in the words ‘irrational’ or ‘rational.’ Like all decision makers these folks made the best decision they knew how to make at that moment in time: they are being totally rational – within their unique system of beliefs and values. These folks are more comfortable with their status quo than they are with the prospect of change, even at the expense of more money and more clients.

What is Change?

Change isn’t just a matter of having a new thought, or adding a solution, or asking folks to take on different tasks because if people had agreed that something was wrong and knew how to change it congruently, they would have changed already. The environment people live in is the sum total of all of decisions to date.

Change requires that we somehow integrate the new with the decisions and behaviors we’ve already created and maintain daily. Until or unless we figure out how to reconfigure our rules, roles, relationships, and ego issues, we will take no action – even if it means sticking with something that’s less than successful.

Broken Change Models

No current change management or sales models handle this problem. Before you decide to change, answer the following:

  • What would you need to know or believe differently to know when it would be time to make a change?
  • What rules and roles and relationships in your current environment would need to be maintained in order to adopt change without disrupting the integrity of your system?
  • What is it about your status quo that would need to be addressed prior to planning change in order to ensure that anything new wouldn’t destroy what you already do successfully?

Because until or unless you can be assured that you can make a change that is integrous with who you are, and get the appropriate buy-in for change, you will do nothing.

The big question is: what sort of buy-in would you need? And how could you go about getting it in a way that would be acceptable and welcomed by the system.

About the Author

Sharon Drew Morgen is founder of Morgen Facilitations, Inc. ( She is the visionary behind Buying Facilitation®, the decision facilitation model that enables people to change with integrity. A pioneer who has spoken about, written about, and taught the skills to help buyers buy, she is the author of the acclaimed New York Times Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and the new book Dirty Little Secrets: Why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Leadership Inspirations – Find Time By Making Time

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.”

Charles Buxton(1823 – 1871)
English brewer, philanthropist, writer and Member of Parliament