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

decisions

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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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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Measurement and Analytics: The scary monster under your bed

spoonsmeasure

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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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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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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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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Who’s At the Table? Apparently Not L&D!

Who’s At the Table? Apparently Not L&D!

In PwC’s article – Who’s at the table? The C-suite and 20 years of change, there is no specific mention of a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), Chief Talent Development Officer (CTDO), or Chief Learning Officer (CLO) “at the table” in the past, present and future. We all know that HR in some form is usually “at the table,” but, as usual, Learning & Development is not even in the equation. Maybe in the future when the CEO orchestrates an ecosystem of expert leaders, L&D will finally be recognized for the value we bring. The reason I find the list of “usual suspects” interesting is because the 2014 and 2016 CEO surveys revealed that skilled & competent talent are a CLO strategic need to drive innovation and to create the competitive edge. If competent talent is such a need why isn’t L&D at the table?

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Smarter L&D Evaluation: Run Incidental Experiments

Smarter L&D Evaluation: Run Incidental Experiments

In a recent Harvard Business Review blog Your Company Is Full of Good Experiments (You Just Have to Recognize Them) Hauser and Luca alerted us to take advantage of incidental experiments just laying around your business. When you want to “try out” or “test” a new product, process, or solution why not set up an incidental experiment. You are probably doing it anyway. Leisa runs a project with the old project management approach and John runs a project with a new approach then you compare the effectiveness of both approaches. Did one approach deliver better results and come in early, under budget, and with fewer iterations?

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Federal Reserve Bank – A financial crisis is a terrible thing to waste

Federal Reserve Bank – A financial crisis is a terrible thing to waste

I visited the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on their 100-year anniversary. Their value is very clear - protect BEV (Bank, Employees, Valuables) with “above reproach” integrity. Their mandate is to maximize employment and price stability, and they do this through several key activities:

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Business Acumen Training

Business Acumen Training

Business acumen training is increasingly important, especially for non-finance employees, who need to understand the principles of value creation. Research shows that numerical thinking is a significant predictor of managers’ career potential (Source: University of Toronto, 2005).

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Scientific descriptions of human behavior

Scientific descriptions of human behavior

It is roughly accurate to characterize the enterprise of science as explaining how one billiard ball strikes another and how that one ricochets into another, and so on. But when this approach is applied to people, it can fall short, because people are goal-oriented. For example, the philosopher John Searle noted that “If you describe a car and leave out driving, you’ve left out something important.” He went on to say, “Cars are for driving; dollars for earning, spending, and saving; bathtubs for taking a bath.”

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