What You Don’t Remember from Business School

My business school experience was fantastic, from what I can remember!  I recall being surrounded by smart people and going to lots (and lots) of classes, but those hours spent sat learning about accounting and such famous theories and frameworks are but a distant memory.

What I do remember were the simulations and competitions against other members of my class.  Competing in a fun and engaging experience around a real world challenge.  These are the experiences that we remember whether at business school or any kind of life experience.

Breaking Data Silos

The 2016 McKinsey Report illustrated that only 30-40% of the value of data and analytics was being captured in US retail with the major barrier being siloed data within companies.  In the EU public sector, only 10-20% of the value of data and analytics was being captured due to siloed data within agencies.

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Through curated team experiences, business executives can see firsthand how data silos can constrain their organisations. Experiencing the behaviours themselves in teams that lead to silo thinking, enables leaders to start the discussion around what changes they can make immediately back in the business to have an impact. This is where the enterprise value of Big Data will be unlocked.

Related Reading: Breaking Data Silos and What To Do Next

I first experienced this during my military career - specifically in the intelligence and data field - by putting leadership teams through “real” simulations. Under the pressure of time and resources, we could see quickly the behaviours and skill gaps that emerged in teams and address them immediately. For example, in getting a team to plan an intelligence collection for a counterinsurgency environment in a highly complex and volatile situation, we pushed teams to ask better questions to the data using a simple and consistent language.

Mind the Gap

As Chief Data Officers seek to monetize their data assets and build data-driven decision-making deep into their organisations,  they must show teams firsthand how they can align data to what’s important for the business and what will drive value, using a simple and scalable language.  Here is where experiences and simulations are so important as business teams get to test and learn in a safe environment.

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Data scientists & analytics expertise in the organisation can understand how to interact with business teams more effectively in a “out of the business” setting.  Gaining business context quickly that will be of critical importance to their success.  Learning the skills as to how to do this will separate the winners here when deploying this talent.  During an immersive team experience Data Scientists can get the chance to practice high value trigger questions and techniques along side business leaders that can help you get closer to what success looks like for the business teams that they support.

Front Line Leaders 

Front line business leaders need to build confidence in data.  Helping them make more effective decisions and build understanding and foresight around the most important challenges that they face using data will be a value accelerator in the business transformation journey.  This is all about business success and to win in the information age, it comes down to business leaders’ skill to connect data with their hard earned experience.

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During my military career I saw firsthand how to use such an experience to break down silos, improve collaboration and communication, and foster strong team dynamics—while coalescing a group of diverse individuals around key organizational challenges. 

In conclusion,  an effective team experience will transform the way the critical groups in your business interact, engage, and connect on multiple levels. 

Whilst getting cold and wet too!

Train your team to gain strategic foresight using data without leaving the office.


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