Using Data to Drive Organizational Decisions and Strategy
By Deborah E. Rupp, Incoming Program Chair, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Saturday Theme Track at this year's SIOP conference, focused on using data to drive organizational decisions and strategy, was a remarkable success—our apologies for those who did not have a seat! Sessions explored people analytics, data-based decision making, and the skills required for infusing strategy with I-O data. The program was interactive, including a wide range of formats such as expert panels, research symposia, and a science–practice “lightning round.”
- Keynote speaker John Boudreau spoke about people analytics, and our ongoing quest to make I-O knowledge more managerially relevant. We learned about the mental models of leaders as an untapped resource for making HR/employment-related decisions, and how the tools of psychology might be used to uncover the reasons why organization leaders often seem to ignore/mis-apply I-O evidence/knowledge.
- Wayne Cascio and Anne Herman presented a case study focused on multiple aspects of the employee experience. Data from different levels, sources, etc. were brought together and analyzed, providing lessons around things to plan for, things you cannot plan for, and a plan for how to get started.
- Scott Brooks and Richard Vosburgh presented data from a study of HR executives’ evidence-based decision making, and discussed art of addressing this challenge.
- Evan Sinar chaired a symposium featuring Scott Highhouse, Nathan Kuncel, and Sara Rynes, which provided insights for overcoming the traditionally poor receptivity of business leaders to empirical and quantitative information. Presentations focused on managers’ preference for intuitive over data-driven decisions, techniques for communicating results to business leaders, and the impact of published literature on practice.
- *Michelle Donovan, Nancy Tippins, and Alan Church provided a no-slide, tell-all panel discussion about what it really takes to influence in today's organizations (hint: a little relationship building, some data, and a lot of persistence). Panelists shared successes and challenges, valuable lessons they had (or wished they had!) learned from grad school, as well as insights on how to influence leaders and drive change.
- Autumn Krauss and Jay Steffensmeier brought the first ever Ignite session to SIOP! This format, which came out of the IT and creative communities of Seattle (http://ignite.oreilly.com/), forces participants to present for five minutes with 20 slides that advance every 15 seconds (no exceptions!). Krauss, Steffensmeier, along with co-conspirator Evan Sinar were successful in recruiting nine of SIOP’s biggest names to have a go at this challenging yet persuasive format. We heard from Elizabeth Kolmstetter, Jeff Facteau, Doug Reynolds, Brian Welle, Steve Hunt, *Rich Cober, Robert Gibby, Rod McCloy, and Eric Heggestad*. What we got was a truly amazing set of creative and inspiring presentations focused on I/O’s role in influencing organizational decision making with the data/methods we know best. In-line with the Ignite philosophy, they enlightened us—and made it fast!
A big thanks go out to our presenters and committee members (which also included Jeff Kudisch and David Woehr) for making this a very special day of themed programming.
Check out the SIOP wiki for the Saturday theme track’s presentation materials: http://siop.editme.com/Saturday-Theme-Track-2011
To order a recording of the Ignite Lightning Round or the Boudreau Keynote Address go to: http://www.siop.org/Conferences/11Con/Regbk/dvd.aspx
*Look for articles summarizing these sessions in this and future issues o