Synchronising Trust and Data Literacy

Rock Solid Leader’s Synchronise Trust and Data Literacy: 10 Top Tips

What is that new saying we are all getting familiar with? “AI will not replace people’s jobs, but people that use AI will”. The same can be said for leaders who are not able to synchronise trust and data literacy so that their teams accept the truth of data and analytics to make more informed decisions.

In an increasingly data-driven world, rock solid leaders will artistically synchronise trust while steadily building data literacy, much like the “eggbeater” movement in synchronised swimming, where the circular leg movements hold the swimmer’s body out of the water. 

The need for core strength and focus requires a specific technique. Synchronising trust and data literacy in an age where data often competes with human intuition and instinct, which can be biased, unreliable and emotion based will require future leaders who are willing to adopt a technique that balances transparency, truth and ethics.

Despite data’s proven accuracy based on objective information and statistical analysis, a tendency still exists to trust people over data. In his book “The Psychology of Influence”, Robert Cialdini goes some way to explain how we are influenced without even realising it: reciprocity, commitments and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity In today’s online age of attention, external influences are far stronger than when Cialdini published his book in 1984.  

Today, the average person swipe’s (to move one’s finger across a touch screen device) 1200 times per day, with each and every swipe forming micro-opinions or judgements and connecting emotionally based on milli-seconds of interaction, often from an unknown source.  In addition, people often feel a greater sense of comfort when they consult a trusted colleague or supervisor.  This reliance, while understandable, can limit the potential benefits of data-driven decision-making and is often clouded by group-think and team norms.

Rock Solid Leaders Create Trust in Data Sources

A key factor to create trust in data output centres on employees feeling safe, and at the same time having complete faith and belief in data sources with no hidden agenda or black boxes.  To mitigate risk and to harness the power of data sources focus on two key areas 1) data security and ethics and 2) data quality and governance:

  1. A high protection of datasecurity, compliance with regulations, and ethical data practices are essential. They protect sensitive information and maintain user trust and integrity. Ethical practices involve responsible data collection, obtaining consent for personal data, and ensuring transparency while addressing bias and discrimination in algorithms and decision-making.
  2. Data quality is vital for effective data management. It involves accuracy, completeness, consistency, and reliability. Organisations need to validate, cleanse, and control data for precision while minimising errors. Data governance, including ownership and standards, maintains trust and consistency as the organisation evolves.

Trust and data literacy require fairness in processes and procedures and clear communication on the ethical use of data. Providing feedback mechanisms enables employees to fully embed themselves with confidence in data activities to harness the full potential of data assets.

Trust and Data Literacy: The New Core Capability

Being data literate is no longer just a valuable skill; it’s a necessity for individuals and organisations alike. Individuals need to trust data and in parallel, possess the ability to collect, process, analyse and interpret data effectively.

Leaders need to set a precedent by demonstrating positive outcomes born from data-driven decisions.  By being encouraged to experiment, employees will feel comfortable exploring new data driven approaches and begin to cultivate a culture that values learning and innovation and collaborative decision-making based on data insights. Leaders can fast track trust and data literacy by appointing “data champions” who are proficient and able to mentor others in the organisation to better understand the value of data and provide practical guidance and its practical application.  

In such an environment, trust and data literacy become a shared competency that empowers everyone to contribute to the organisation’s success. In the end, just as synchronised swimming showcases grace and precision in the water, executives who master the art of synchronising trust in a data-driven age demonstrate their ability to navigate the intricate depths of information with finesse. It’s a performance that not only wins over the audience but also propels the organisation forward in an era where data reigns supreme.

10 Top Tips to Synchronise Trust and Data Literacy

The infographic below summarises the 10 top tips to synchronise trust and data literacy in a data driven organisation.

(download trust and data literacy infographic)

In conclusion, trust synchronisation in a data-driven age requires an approach where leaders are transparent, leading by doing, and, at the same time ensuring trust and data literacy are a core team capability. While human intuition remains deeply ingrained, executives can pave the way for data-driven decision-making by addressing concerns related to data security and privacy, providing education and training, and fostering a culture that values datas objective truth complemented by intuitive input and evaluation. 

By following the top 10 tips above, organisations can harness the power of data, while growing trust and data literacy among their employees and ultimately establishing more informed and accurate decision-making, benefiting both the organisation and its workforce.

Reading on synchronised swimming moves can be found here

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Karen, leveraging 25 years of international expertise, is your go-to HR consultant and speaker for organisational and people development for Future Work.

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October 8, 2023

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