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Big Data



Intuit Debunks Myth on Organizational Design

Dr. Daisy Grewal

Dr. Daisy Grewal

20 minutes

Mar 31, 2024

Intuit Debunks Myth on Organizational Design
Interview Highlights

To make businesses run smoothly and quickly, companies often face a tough decision: should they cut back on middle managers? Many believe that having fewer managers will make things faster and save money.

But recent studies, like one in the Harvard Business Review called "Don’t Eliminate Your Middle Managers," say this might not be a good idea. They warn that cutting too many managers too quickly could end up costing companies a lot.

To get clarification on this, we meet Dr. Daisy Grewal, an expert in people analytics, which is all about using data to understand and improve how people work together in companies. With her background in social psychology and research, Dr. Grewal has a unique perspective when it comes to the middle manager’s role in any organization.

She's worked at top universities like Stanford and Yale, and now she's at Intuit, a big company in Silicon Valley.

Let’s check out her take on the importance of middle managers along with other insights.

Looking at Social Psychology and People Analytics Together

Dr. Grewal explains how her background helps her see things differently. Social psychology is all about understanding how people think and behave in groups. This knowledge is crucial for solving problems in companies, especially when it comes to issues like diversity and inclusion. By using science-based methods, companies can create workplaces where everyone feels welcome and valued.


Going from College to the Business World

Dr. Grewal's journey from academia to the corporate world shows how universities can be ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding people. Even though universities might seem old-fashioned in some ways, they've been using data to make decisions for a long time. Dr. Grewal's experience shows how this knowledge can be useful in a corporate setting, too.


Understanding How Organizations Work

One big topic we discuss with Dr. Grewal is how companies are structured and how decisions get made. She found that having fewer managers doesn't always make things faster or better. Instead, it's more about how decisions are made and how much power frontline managers have. By looking at how teams work together and how managers support their employees, companies can make better decisions and be more innovative.


Looking Ahead in People Analytics

Dr. Grewal believes the future of people analytics is exciting. Even though new technologies are changing the field, she believes the most important thing is to stay focused on solving real problems for businesses. By using data wisely and working closely with other parts of the company, people analytics can help businesses grow and succeed.


The Conclusion:

Dr. Daisy Grewal's insights show us how important it is to understand people when running an organization. She also throws light on the role of middle managers and how they can contribute towards success.

By using data and psychology together, companies can create workplaces where everyone can thrive. And with experts like Dr. Grewal leading the way, the future of people analytics looks bright.

Official Transcript

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article titled, Don’t Eliminate Your Middle Managers, “cutting such jobs hastily or too deeply can be a costly mistake.”

Through the realm of people analytics, where we embark on a profound exploration of data-driven insights reshaping the workforce, we’ll unveil a vexing quandary that frequently plagues companies: the misperceptions and perils enshrouding the reduction of middle management.

Within the contemporary business landscape, enterprises ardently seek to streamline their operations and enhance efficacy. Among the favored approaches is the curtailing of middle managerial ranks, for it’s postulated that leaner organizational structures herald swift decision-making and fiscal frugality. Alas, this ostensibly facile resolution may not always yield the coveted outcomes.

Our esteemed guest is an accomplished arbiter of people analytics prowess, presenting an extraordinary acumen, derived from her multifaceted background as a social psychologist and expertise in institutional research. Drawing from her sagacious insights, she’ll share her approach to organizational design, decision-making paradigms, and the enriching contours of the employee experience in a truly strategic manner.

Dr. Daisy Grewal, Sr. Manager of People Analytics & Research Partner at Intuit, joins us from Mountain View California. Daisy is the former Director of Evaluation at Stanford University and holds a doctorate in Social Psychology from Yale.

Daisy, thank you for being here today.

Dr. Daisy Grewal: Thanks for inviting me. 

As a social psychologist working in the field of people analytics, how do you see the unique perspective you bring to the table impacting the way you approach and analyze data compared to IO psychologists or other professionals.

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