The Smarter People Blog

Human Capital Analtyics thoughts, views and opinion, from SPP thought leadership and industry experts.

ALL MODELS ARE WRONG!

busmodel

In 1976 a statistician, George Box, stated “All models are wrong, but some are useful."

So, what does this mean? It means that a model is only a representation or simplification of reality. If it were reality, it would be reality and not a model. The amount of model “wrongness” is a matter of degree. The real question is, how wrong do they have to be to not be useful. Put another way, how well does the model reflect reality? For some models we may never really know how closely they reflect reality, and for some we have a pretty darn good idea. For instance, remember when the Google map cartographers had it all wrong and the Google map app kept sending people in the wrong direction? Those models were so wrong they weren’t useful.

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A Logical Proof that Santa Exists!

santablog

Is the statement, “There is a Santa Claus” true?

This should be easy enough: Define truth and see if the statement fits the definition.

It is widely held that a statement is true if and only if there is a one-to-one correspondence between the statement and reality. “The cat is on the mat” is a true statement if you can show that there exists a felis catus that is currently supported by a piece of coarse fabric.

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L&D Evaluation Belief #4: We can’t understand the why behind the results

analyizeresult

This post is part of a series on beliefs about social experimentation; if you missed the first post, start at the beginning of the series here.

Belief 4:

Evaluation findings are of little value because the “black box” just reveals that an intervention is effective or not, but nothing about why.

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L&D Evaluation Belief #3: Social experiments lack external validity

accurateresults

This post is part of a series on beliefs about social experimentation; if you missed the first post, start at the beginning of the series here.

Belief 3:
Social experiments sacrifice external validity (i.e., outside the study; findings can be generalized to other interventions and settings) for internal validity (i.e., inside the study, ensuring the evaluation/research is robust and executed correctly).

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L&D Evaluation Belief #2: You can’t show business impact

Measure Results

This post is part of a series on beliefs about social experimentation; if you missed the first post, start at the beginning of the series

Belief 2:

Evaluations are conducted on L&D interventions that are not able to show impact.

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Will Uberization and a Gig Economy Drive to 5-Minute L&D Valuations?

As we move to a more Uberized economy, what will this mean for your company? Will Uberization drive the gig economy? Will all of the work be parsed out in gigs?

 

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Data and Decision-Making Requirements

Using verifiable data to make decisions is a valuable business strategy. Research shows that data-driven decision-making (DDDM) increases performance, output, and productivity. Top-performing organizations use analytics 5 times more than lower performers.

 

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PEOPLE SUPPORT WHAT THEY HELP CREATE—3 STEPS

In the 1950s, Richard Beckhard coined the term organizational development. One of his six assumptions about the nature of organizations is that people will support what they help create.

 

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Who Determines Whether You Offer Good Service?

People often study a subject until they can get 100% right on a test of their understanding of the subject. While this is a sensible approach, it turns out that about 10% of the correct answers are comprised of guesswork, short-term memory, and information not fully learned.

 

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L&D Evaluation Belief #1: It’s too expensive

too_expensive

There are many widely held negative beliefs about social experimentation (i.e., L&D evaluation) that limit effective organizational decision making, the ability to generate reliable evidence, and deeply informed insights. There absolutely is some element of truth to the negative beliefs, but I want to weaken these beliefs and arm you with arguments to counter them as you educate your stakeholders and drive smarter decision making.

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Vision, Strategy, and Execution

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A University of Maryland study found that companies with clearly communicated visions have higher revenue growth, higher productivity, and lower project costs. As Thomas Edison said, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” However, Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard shows that 95% of workers are unaware of their company’s strategic business objectives; thus, they do not know how they can help achieve success for their company.

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Measurement and Analytics: The scary monster under your bed

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The subject of data brings me to the topic that I know makes many of you cringe. It’s ok. You aren’t alone, and you don’t need a mathematics background to overcome your hesitations. First, here are the most common reasons I’ve heard from L&D leaders about why they avoid measurement and evaluation.

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Discovering Your Authentic Leadership

rsz_leadership

There have been 1,000 studies in the past 50 years to determine the definitive styles, characteristics, or personality traits of great leaders. A February 2007 Harvard Business Review article highlighted that no one can be authentic by trying to imitate someone else. Young & Rubicam CEO Ann Fudge said, All of us have the spark of leadership in us, whether it is in business, in government, or as a nonprofit volunteer. The challenge is to understand ourselves well enough to discover where we can use our leadership gifts to serve others.Thus, a leader should:

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Introducing L&D’s Guide to Winning

books

By Stacey Boyle, PhD, and Diana Thomas, MBA

Have you been instructed to be more strategic? Is leadership asking you to show results of learning investments? Are you struggling to build a chain of evidence that shows learning’s impact?

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Is this the right time to revolutionize your L&D?

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There are a number of reasons why it’s time to build your winning L&D organization, but perhaps the biggest is the growing expectation that L&D is a strategic partner to the business. That’s right: it’s expected of you. If it isn’t, if will be. If no one has told you to be more strategic and people in your organization think that a tactical L&D is ideal, you have the biggest opportunity of all. You can do things your way, with the opportunity to build a strategic partnership from scratch. By being proactive, you set the rules of engagement.

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Do You Use the Logic of Failure to Succeed?

Logic of Failure

In The Logic of Failure, German psychologist Dietrich Dörner summarized experiments on how people deal with complex systems. Dörner created a computer model of an imaginary country in West Africa that he called Tanaland. The people of this imaginary land depend on growing crops, gathering fruit, and herding sheep and cattle. Participants in Dörner’s experiment were given the opportunity to control certain variables of the Tanaland computer model, such as whether to use irrigation and fertilizer. Most participants quickly wiped out Tanaland’s population, but a few were able to preserve a healthy rate of growth. The differences between the experiment’s two groups, Dörner wrote, were striking: “The good participants acted more complexly. Their decisions took different aspects of the entire system into account, not just one aspect. This is clearly the more appropriate behavior in dealing with complicated systems,” he added, because complexity means there are “many interdependent variables in a given system,” which makes “it impossible to undertake only one action.”

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Old Skool Research Supports In-NO-vation

creative

After reading Dr. Gillis’ blog post In-NO-vation, I had the urge to resurrect my 1995 doctoral dissertation: The Relationship between Psychosocial Development and Divergent Production in Older Adults. Just academic words for the relationship between human development (measured as psychosocial development) and creativity (measured as divergent thinking) of adults aged 50+. So, what did I find back in the day? Overall, I found that there was no relationship between human psychosocial development, in aggregate, and creativity, but at certain stages of development, there are significant relationships.  

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In-NO-vation

In-NO-vation

Creativity is unlearned, not learned. 1,600 five year olds were tested for creativity by NASA to select innovative engineers and scientists, and 98% scored “highly creative.” These same children were tested 5 years later, at age 10, and that score dropped to 30%, and then 12% when they were 15. 200,000 adults took the same test, and only 2% came back as “creative.”

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What Does Being Strategic Look Like?

What Does Being Strategic Look Like?

In Diana Thomas‘ CLO article, What Does Being Strategic Look Like?, she states that there are four key behaviors of strategic leaders:

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From: Your Global CEOs—Here’s What Really Keeps Us Up at Night

From: Your Global CEOs—Here’s What Really Keeps Us Up at Night

This year PwC released their 20th Global CEO Survey. They share insights from 1,379 CEOs from 79 countries revealing issues such as competing in the age of divergence, managing man and machine, gaining connectivity without losing trust, and making globalization work for all.

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