Trust between employees is a key to success. No company can move fast and efficiently if its employees don’t trust each other. No person can achieve or complete all tasks in a company and on a timely matter, thus one needs to trust others to work on what you are not able to. However, blind trust can hurt you and the company. This is where getting too cozy is a problem.
Don’t take all data, tasks, next steps, etc, for granted, or you might find that one of those is incorrect, or it doesn’t exist. This is particularly true with legacy systems, like old reports. For example, you are looking at a dashboard that was built before your time. Nobody knows how the dashboard is getting the data or if it is correct; however, everybody is trusting the dashboard to be right. What if the dashboard is not taking into account changes or new data that came after it was created? It is situations like this when you need to stop and ask “where’s the data coming from? Are we capturing everything? Are there any filters on the data?” I recently ran into this scenario.
Everybody from the team, specially the VP and myself, looks at daily sales from a certain channel using a dashboard that was created years ago, before any of us worked in the company. I took this dashboard for granted for a year until I started digging into it as sales looked a bit higher than on other platforms. It turns out that dashboard was counting sales outside of the specific channel. When I brought it up, the analyst just told me that the dashboard was old and that he didn’t know what type of filters it had. You would think that question would have been brought up a while ago, or that the analyst won’t trust data coming from a source that he doesn’t know, right? No, we just trusted the dashboard and were too cozy to dispute it.
Trust is necessary for a company’s success, but when it comes to data and legacy systems, it won’t hurt you to ask questions and dig a bit deeper to make sure the information given to you is sound.