How Data Speaks

FACT:  Data Speaks.

Consider how this creepy image speaks to you.


This week, U.S. attorney General William Barr released a 400-page redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to Congress and the public.  Consider how that data speaks to you.   A client suggested that most people “see-speak-hear” that data as if we were monkeys… filled with bias.


Consider how these 3 data points speak to you…

  1. Twitter removed 70 million fraudulent accounts in only two months in 2018 (source: Inc, May 2019)
  2. Facebook removed 583 million fake accounts in the first three months of 2019 (source: Inc, May 2019)
  3. In my world of leadership consulting, “a lengthy global effort to create standards for reporting human capital metrics is expected to be announced this week. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will issue its guidelines for 23 human capital reporting measures, including a Leadership Trust Index (LTI) that may inform institutional investors, private investors and global business leaders” (Steve Maxwell presenting at the Center for Talent Reporting Annual Conference, February 21, 2019).

FACT:  All leaders and managers struggle to collect and analyze data. 

You probably know that ISO standards have defined quality improvement and safety investments in countless organizations since they were first introduced in 1947.  These worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards have been adopted in 164 countries.

What if your organization collected and distributed data on the following 23 human capital measures into these 9 categories?

  1. Ethics (number and type of employee grievances filed; number and type of concluded disciplinary actions; percentage of employees who have completed training on compliance and ethics)
  2. Costs (total workforce costs)
  3. Workforce diversity (with respect to age, gender, disability, and “other indicators of diversity”; and diversity of leadership team)
  4. Leadership (“leadership trust,” to be determined by employee surveys)
  5. Organizational safety, health, and well-being (lost time for injury; number of occupational accidents; number of people killed during work)
  6. Productivity (EBIT/revenue/turnover/profit per employee; human capital ROI, or the ratio of income or revenue to human capital)
  7. Recruitment, mobility, and turnover (average time to fill vacant positions; average time to fill critical business positions; percentage of positions filled internally; percentage of critical business positions filled internally; turnover rate)
  8. Skills and capabilities (total development and training costs)
  9. Workforce availability (number of employees; full-time equivalents)

How would that data speak in your world?

Privately held companies may use these human capital data for directional initiatives such as replacing managers with high turnover ratios identified as “toxic managers” or investing in high growth departments that require training in OKR leadership skills. For details contact us.

Publicly held companies may use these human capital data for multi-directional initiatives designed to retain more diverse employees, eliminating bias in hiring, or retaining desired employees with external coaching and consulting.  For details see

Consider one final example.   Imagine a 17-year district sales manager who had regularly been promoted within her company as recognition for her history of ratings that “exceed expectations.”  Then she was asked to relocate into a new geography and had 4 different managers within 5 years.  The goal incentives were increased 300%.  She had to hire 3 new direct reports within 8 weeks.  Then her new manager stated that she “should not speak to anyone in the corporate office, even when he did not repeatedly provide required information for business decisions.”  How does that data speak?

FACT:  All leaders and managers struggle to collect and analyze data. 

OPINION:  I predict massive changes ahead in public accountability and transparency and data-driven decision making.  

If you need expertise in collecting and analyzing data for your organization, then you should contact us today.

FACT:  The market demands that you will increase the probability of competitive success if you can make more informed decisions before others.

In response to a client’s request, I created a free digital course called “OKR Leadership Skills” that you can take here.  The Objectives and Key Results (OKR) management process has enabled countless F100 and small business leaders to increase accountability and transparency.  OKR leadership has been described as the “secret sauce” that explains the largest migration of financial assets in human history to Silicon Valley in the last 30 years.  OKR leadership is another example of How Data Speaks. 

Here is one final example.  Here is a 3-minute excerpt of a keynote presentation on OKR leadership that I provided in March, 2019 to over 700 business leaders in Denver, CO.  You may need a similar data story in your organization.

Here’s to you, at your best,

Doug Gray, PhD, PCC, CEO of Action Learning Associates, LLC