Data Doesn’t Need to Be Governed, Employees Do

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Peopleby Angela Guess

Dan Meera and Michael Nicosia of Information Management recently opined, “[Y]ou’re not governing data, you’re really governing people’s behavior. Even at the technology level, bad things happen to data because people choose to do things like copying, changing, deleting and adjusting it with little regard for others. Don’t blame them, they are only doing what they think is necessary to answer their business questions. Instead, consider focusing on people and their behaviors. Since behaviors reflect a complex set of people’s expectations, skills, needs and values, we need to think about the best approach to improve those behaviors over time.”

The pair continues, “You could use a compliance-based approach to drive actions without changing ongoing behaviors, something like a “golden clipboard” of checklists for policy compliance. However, a policy-based approach is self-limiting and very difficult to sustain because it doesn’t really change behaviors or expectations. A golden clipboard approach pushes policy directives across an organization without a clear sense of how compliance adds value. When the value is not clear to both the people trying to comply and to the enterprise, the effort is usually seen as just another corporate drill. No lasting changes in behavior will occur without providing a clear answer to why these changes are needed, much less support for understanding how to make those changes. “All carrot, no stick” means that people do the minimum amount of work then wait it out with a “this too shall pass” mentality.”

Read more here.

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