I have had the privilege to attend the first People Analytics course at the MIT Media Lab this July. A remarkable experience (it’s MIT!) and surprisingly practical. Its science, its engineering, its powerful.
What I have brought back home:
A great diploma, to hang on my wall.
A suitcase full of books.
A different perspective on high-performing teams.
A few surprises:
Fact 1: best-practice case studies are questioned – apparently, what works with some companies, might not work with ours. The appreciated best practice, “as read in professional papers” method of decision taking is just no longer relevant. Experimental A/B testing is the base of the new decision making process, with proven more efficiency in achieving and measuring results.
Fact 2: socializing is not a costly time waste at the workplace, but an important step towards the creation of high-performing teams. Science has evidence that speaking face-to-face is not only a symbol of proper manners, but a necessary step towards team performance.
Fact 3: Me, Myself and I is not as relevant as we think – it is the We that matters. The new science of teams shows that our individual talents are not the winning factor for team success. Groups with biased energy levels amongst their respective members are most efficient – nature loves symmetry. Direct communication between people, and not just their leader, creates room for engagement and success.
Fact 4: the hype is all about the digitalization of life, but wearables measure the old-school, analog human relationships. It is all about the energy, engagement and exploration of team members.
Social engagement is now social analytics – which is quantitative, and whilst the devices developed at the MIT Media Lab and implemented by Ben Waber’s Humanyze are state-of-art tools, each company holds vast amounts of data that can immediately be utilized to form People Analytics teams.
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