Validating as a Leadership Skill, Part 4 of 6
Validation Is Learning from the Data
We are learning from interviews and field tests. It’s not only that we are right or wrong…there are shades of grey and it’s a process of discovery. It’s validating the data and interpreting it that makes the difference.
I meet many people who let me know that they are “intuitive.” I’m convinced that everyone is intuitive if we can pay attention. It’s HOW the intuitive information is interpreted and applied that makes the difference.
Out of every 100 people who have an idea, only 3 will do something about it. Our educational system teaches us to gather information. Effective leaders go the extra step to apply the information gathered and lessons learned, and actually do something.
Those who are successful do what others are not willing to do.
Here are steps I use to discern how to apply the data:
- Analyze the Data: I use a “T” chart, which is called a “Force Field Analysis” in facilitation language. In this visual, I identify the two choices for making a decision – Pro or Con, Go or No Go, Hire or No Hire, etc. – and begin to place the data into each column. Then I can review the data and make a factual decision without emotion. It’s important to remove the feeling from leadership decision making.
- Define the Source of the Problem: If a problem surfaces in the discovery process, the discernment needed is how to interpret the information and how to solve the problem. Rather than going directly to solving the problem, it’s important to understand why the problem exists and look at alternate solutions. It’s critical to be sure that the definition of the problem is correct. There’s danger in solving the wrong problem. Here are the steps:
- Define the Problem and be sure that it’s the problem (analytical);
- Identify ALL the Reasons for the Problem and make an extensive list – then review and group ideas by similarity or topic (analytical);
- Create a list of ALL Potential Solutions (brainstorming) and be creative by listing all the ideas that come to mind, no matter how useful or practical;
- Sort the Solutions by relevance (analytical) and review;
- Define the Final Answers (analytical) by moving the ideas into action lists, and combine ideas into one stronger one or list several ideas in a sequence of steps and make sure that each decision is practical and realistic;
- Time Activate the Action Items on a working calendar which is the only calendar in use – when two calendars are used, they are both wrong.
- Share the Actions with Accountability Partners: Being accountable helps leaders stay on track and provides an energy field in which others can support and refer others.
Learning is a continual process.
Validating as a Leadership Skill series links:
Part 1 Validation is Critical
Part 2 Validation Prevents Entrepreneurial Blindness
Part 3 Validation Is Asking the Right Questions
Part 4 Validation Is Learning from the Data
Part 5 Validation Is Checking the Right Data
Part 6 Validation Is Starting with the Minimum Viable Test
The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM
(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.