Event Recap
Getting Unstuck: From Analysis Paralysis to Data-Driven Transformation

14 Dec 2023
Event Organizer: PLASTARC
Event Link
Tagged as: Organizing

Driving Change with Data, A Clear Path Forward

This past month, PLASTARC hosted the latest installment in its Flexibility Unleashed webinar series, titled “Getting Unstuck: From Analysis Paralysis to Data-Driven Transformation.”

Sociospatial designer Amy Rosen facilitated a lively conversation between three industry experts: Toma Barylak, an entrepreneur and leader in the fields of workplace and real estate; Carly Tortorelli, Director of IT Real Estate and Facilities at Intuitive; and Nathan Miller, CEO of Proving Ground. Each panelist's work impacts the built world by using data to drive performance.

Of those organizations that choose to undergo digital transformations, only 16% manage to cultivate lasting and impactful organizational change. The panelists discussed systems, strategies, and recommendations for bucking this trend, as organizations like theirs strive to complete a successful data-driven digital transformation. They all agreed that the organizational health (or lack thereof) fostered in a workplace is the main determining factor when considering this complex process.

Defining Organizational Health: 3 Simple Criteria

The panelists laid out three straightforward criteria by which any company could assess their own organizational health:

1. Leaders should be aligned with one another and have a consistent vision.

2. There should be clear lines of communication between leaders, business owners, and teams. These communication channels should enable anyone to express a perceived need for organizational change, along with the benefits that the proposed changes could have for both the company and the individual.

3. Every member of the organization should play a role in enacting the transformation.

When determining an organization’s health, it’s vital to account for the social and historical context in which the organization is situated. Workplace standards have shifted as quickly as our everyday expectations – in an age when almost any service is available through our phones and work can often be done from the convenience of our homes, workers often expect meaningful change to be practically effortless.

“Enacting change that takes a high amount of effort and more than a few clicks can be hard to find the motivation for,” said Tortorelli.

But organizational change does not always happen quickly or easily – in fact, it rarely does. With this in mind, an effective change management campaign needs to remind all stakeholders of the time and effort needed to enact meaningful change.

The solution to this? Know your organization, what it needs, and how proposed changes could meet those needs. Then substantiate your solutions with data.

Barylak outlined how organizations can effectively implement change by using data-driven solutions to achieve buy-in amongst leaders and employees alike. The process, which includes many of PLASTARC’s most tried-and-true practices, begins with organization-wide surveys, workshops, and leadership interviews. Using the lessons from this research, the organization is then properly equipped to present dimensional and nuanced data, which will facilitate the implementation of necessary shifts. Expanding on this point, Miller emphasized the importance of using collected data to demonstrate those needs that necessitate change and to articulate goals that can be reached.

Barylak explained that well-presented data sets can help define an organization’s “blue-sky better state, [which can be leveraged to give] the uninitiated a lot of confidence.” The vision and intention communicated through robust data builds rapport between members of the organization and any consultants that are helping plan and implement change. By collecting, synthesizing, and presenting data, workplace researchers can show that any proposed changes are intended to address real-life, everyday workplace conditions. This is how data drives change.

To hear more insights from industry experts about common workplace obstacles and potential solutions, check out PLASTARC’s webinar series Flexibility Unleashed.