When we think data helps us...


Earlier this week, I listened to a company that works with heart rate measurements and data-driven leadership. Ai is used to give individuals recommendations on changes in their behaviour in the workplace.

At first thought, it feels like; Wow, smart!

But after it sinks in for a few minutes, I rather get a sense of; Is that really the way we want to go?

Using data, depending on what the data consists of, is a prerequisite for being able to measure, analyze and often make good decisions. It's obvious to me.

But when it comes to leadership, it feels like it creates an overconfidence in data.

Good leadership is about personal communication and trust between the leader and the individual. Of course, I think the right digital tools should be used to facilitate leadership (communication, accessibility, documentation, measurable development and see trends in well-being). But to let AI replace the dialogue between the leader and the individual does not seem ok to me. If, on the other hand, data can help the leader become a better leader in the physical and personal meeting, that's a good thing.

Furthermore, I am thinking of these heart rate measurements that are now more popular than ever. Many of the heart rate measurements available today are about the company deciding a number of questions and sending out to its employees. They should then answer the questions with one point, weekly, monthly or maybe only once a year. All responses are anonymous and the results are presented throughout the company, one department or sometimes perhaps down to the team level.

That's what most people think!

But hand on heart, for whom are these measurements made? After all, what comes out is almost always a result that allows the company to either pat itself on the back (in comparison to an average among other companies) or a result that says that; Wow, we don't have happy and satisfied employees. We have to do something.

But since it is the company that has decided (with the questions) what employees should rate, you never get to know what the individual really thinks is important to them. Perhaps these are completely different things from what is contained in these issues.

Another thing, since the result is anonymous, is that the company never really knows what problems require what measures and for which individual.

Then it becomes time and time again that the company creates measures for an anonymous mass.

Does not feel like an effective way to work with individual development and to make Pierre, Anna, Klas and Mehmet actually feel comfortable, feel good and perform in their workplace.