On Investments in Organizational Improvement

In Restoring the Soul of Business, Rishad Tobaccowala examines the high cost of overreliance on humans or machines — but not both. He explains how to reclaim human creativity, insight, and relationships with other humans as well as with machines in order to compete and win in today’s VUCA marketplace.

For example, consider this thoughts about investments inorganizational improvement:

“The training and incentives [when spending $150 billion annually in the U.S.] are all spreadsheet-based, numerical, and quantifiable. While numerical measures of improvement can have organizational value, they’re also flawed in three ways:”

1. “They may no longer be relevant. Measuring against past competitors or one’s self tends to be insular and backward-looking; it’s often the wrong measure in a world of change. Improvement against the past might seem like a positive barometer, but what if other companies are improving faster?

2. “They can be gamed. Once incentives are linked to outcomes, individuals and organizations may manipulate budgets, goals, and metrics to ensure they exceed the numbers they have to hit.

3. “They rarely measure the intangibles. For growth, expertise, depth, and soft skills, most companies measure what’s been done but not the quality or service or experience delivered.”

All three are discussed in greater depth in Pages 44-46.

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Rishad’s key skill is getting people to see, think and feel differently about how to grow themselves, their teams and their company. He does this through distilling 40 years of global learning and wisdom and communicating in a way that is provocative, pragmatic and inspirational.

To learn more about Rishad and his work, please click here.

Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data was published by HarperCollins Leadership/An imprint of HarperCollins (January 2020).


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