Analytics Initiatives Demand Enterprise Leaders, Not C-Suite Politicians

Analytics Initiatives Demand Enterprise Leaders, Not C-Suite Politicians

Going over some new research on the impact analytics has had on their clients, EY’s Chris McShea, Dan Oakley, and Chris Mazzei write at the Harvard Business Review that “efforts to adopt analytics upset the balance of power in the C-suite, and this shift often had a negative impact on analytics initiatives”:

Shaped by history, personalities, and events, levels of influence the members of the C-suite were not all equal. But in order to function effectively, the rivalries and politics had evolved to a tacit equilibrium. While skirmishes occurred constantly on recurring allocation matters (i.e., budgets and plans), the balance of power proved to be quite resilient. This benefited these organizations in many ways, including providing a stable direction for employees.

But the commitment to advanced analytics disrupted this equilibrium. Since there was no natural owner of analytics within the traditional organizational structure, multiple executives competed hard to own the new capability. While not every C-suite member wanted to manage such a high-stakes opportunity, the most powerful members were eager to oversee an influential new pool of talent and command more time on the board’s agenda. With the exception of the “winner,” a feeling of vulnerability settled over the other executive team members when the analysis conducted by the analytics group revealed inefficiencies and missed opportunities in their respective functions.

This is another example of why organizations need enterprise leaders.

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Is Corporate America Ready for Democracy?

Is Corporate America Ready for Democracy?

Kelly Max, the CEO of Haufe USA, was elected to the job by Haufe’s employees in 2015 and must be re-elected each year to keep his position. Writing in Fast Company, Max retells how “corporate democracy” became the norm at his organization:

My company, Haufe, adopted leadership elections four years ago, when our founder, Hermann Arnold, realized he wasn’t the right candidate for global CEO as the company grew and expanded. Arnold stepped down from that post in 2011 and assumed the role of chairman. Then, rather than simply appoint someone, Arnold asked himself, “If we truly believe employees run companies—as our fundamental market approach says—what better way to prove it than to have our employees elect the next CEO and other top leaders?” So all 200 employees at the time were enfranchised, and they chose Marc Stoffel as the company’s CEO.

That set a pattern, which the company followed globally.

One rationale for Haufe’s democratic experiment is to prevent the emergence of “shadow organizations” within the company, he explains:

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