Permission to Speak – Leadership Blog – Kelly Vandever Interviews Jay Goldman on Employee Centric Workplaces – Part 2

Permission to Speak

Leadership Video Blog & Podcast

Hosted by Leadership Communications Expert Kelly Vandever

Permission to Speak is the video blog and podcast that loiters at the intersections of leaders who want their people to speak up, technology that facilitates connections, and results that serve an organization’s higher purpose.

Our guest for this episode:  Jay Goldman – Part 2

Topics Discussed:

  • The New York Times best-selling book, The Decoded Company
  • Three characteristics of a decoded company are (1) technology as a coach and trainer (2) data as sixth sense and (3) engineered ecosystems
  • Accelerating tenure
  • The idea behind tech as a coach is “How can you make everyone on your team as good as they can be?”
  • Interviewing skills as an example of how to use data to be a better interviewer
  • For example, Klick has used data to see who is really good at picking future rock stars for the organization and those how have a high rate of rejecting people who later turn out to be high performers. Then the system can deliver training to help those not good at interviewing become better.
  • Instead of a system that yells at you as a referee, decoded companies use data to whisper in your ear to coach and train you to be even more successful
  • One way to question the status quo in your organization is to challenge new hires to poke holes in your assumptions
  • Adopt an attitude of “safe to try” as a way to fight organizational antibodies that block innovation because it’s different than we’ve always done things. Don’t test the idea based on whether it’s a good or bad idea but is it safe to try.
  • Be willing to experiment adopting this attitude of “safe to try”
  • Data literacy is becoming more and more important to organizations
  • Data as a sixth sense is bringing that data literacy into all parts of the organization
  • But you still need to question the data. Don’t ignore your gut instincts.
  • Data as a sixth sense is about getting data to make better decisions
  • UPS example of experimenting to see the best way to use their Orion system, comparing instinct and experience only, to exclusively following the system, or using the both. Use the system to augment what you know and be flexible to ignore when you see things on the ground that wouldn’t be known by the system.
  • Be sensitive to the fact that there’s some job insecurity when you start using data as a sixth sense or adding automation
  • Transparency in data so you can see are there issues with the financials on a project, is there a risk of burnout, etc.
  • Unconscious bias & Harvard’s study on unconscious bias
  • Most organizations grow a culture without being intentional about it
  • Culture in many ways is shaped top down
  • The importance of being intentional about hiring, even very early in the life of a start up
  • Space as an indication of culture
  • Even the military isn’t on a strict command-and-control environment
  • Dunbar’s number
  • Klick has divided themselves into teams of 150 or less to keep the benefits and agility of a smaller organization
  • Valve Software company as an example of a flat organization & the Valve employee handbook
  • High growth companies engineering their own ecosystems
  • How SenseiOS has helped high growth companies transform their businesses, and caused some to say, “I don’t know how we ran our company without it!”


Questions Answered:

Can I use data to run my company better?

How can I use data in my organization?

How can I be a better interviewer?

How do I maintain a small company culture when I’m growing fast?

How can we be transparent with data?

How can we create a better work culture?

How can we use data to make better business decisions?

How can I use data better?

How can I increase innovation in my organization?

Book Recommended:

The Decoded Company


Kelly Vandever is a leadership and communications expert who helps leaders and organizations thrive in today’s attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook world.   Connect with Kelly and discover how being professionally human can bring you better business results. 

Contact Kelly by phone at 770-597-1108, email her or tweet her @KellyVandever.

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