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Change is relentless. That means innovations are always emerging. We need to keep scanning the horizon, looking for new ways of doing things.
Change is relentless. That means innovations are always emerging. We need to keep scanning the horizon, looking for new ways of doing things.

Change: thinking it through

Original content by ChangeDriver

Change is relentless. Innovations always emerge.

We need to keep scanning the horizon for new ways of doing things. For example, there are great new approaches for protecting personal information. Collecting it might be good for business, but data breaches erode public trust. How can we get the best results from continuous change and innovation?

Some organizations have failed to get the best results in the area of big data. Corporations like Google, Facebook and telecommunications companies have data miners that gather and analyze our personal information. They profile us for marketing and sales purposes. Is this innovative or invasive?

Yes, data mining leads to greater understanding of customers’ preferences and makes shopping more convenient. It can be good for a company’s bottom line and allows government to better serve citizens. But at what price? Do we know what else is being done with our personal information?

The number and seriousness of data breaches is growing. In 2005, there were 67 data breaches by businesses (in the US). In 2017, there were 870. The Equifax breach in mid-2017 leaked sensitive information about 145 million people, including names, addresses and social security numbers. Let me say that again – 145 million people!

The Cambridge Analytica scandal in March 2018 is equally concerning. This data analytics company harvested personal information from 87 million Facebook users without their permission. It then used this data to create fake news and sway public opinion through advertising.

People continue to share personal details online. When asked how they feel about this loss of privacy they often say, “I’ve got nothing to hide. I haven’t done anything wrong.”

It turns out that there are real and immediate consequences. Being under scrutiny does matter to us and surveillance does change our behaviour. It is causing us to self-censor and retreat from discussion.

This growing fishbowl mentality can lead to personal, financial and reputational harm for organizations. A misspoken word, bad behaviour or inaction can erode customers’ trust.

Do changes in the transparency of your company or its employees threaten or enhance your collective success? We’d love to know what you think.

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