Bringing data to management.
Organizational psychology and management fields are littered with bad science (outdated or disproven work, failures to replicate, and retractions galore), leading to vast misunderstanding and ineffective solutions. Unlike the the field of medicine, academic and practitioner practices generally don't influence one another; academics tell managers what they should do, without getting feedback on what is practical or relevant. The challenges are steep, and one that academics and management alike are not unaware of.
With a team trained in academia, we are well-versed on the challenges scientific knowledge has in its ability to influence modern-day management. We believe in elevating stale management practices, moving away from intuition, fads, and subjective experience, to bridge the gap between science and business. We are committed to advancing society's knowledge of business research, and promoting evidence-based organizational practices by curating and conducting applied research, encouraging informed conversations, and providing strategic assistance to businesses of all kinds and sizes. We are motivated by rationality and the belief that businesses need to operate bias-free in order to substantially improve team and organizational performance.
“What we do in organizations has very little relationship to what the science says we should do. Getting companies to pay attention to science and engage in so-called 'evidence-based management' is a challenge that has been driving industrial-organizational psychologists nuts for the better part of 20 years."
Viewpoint Research was founded in 2010 to address the declining levels of trust and corporate failings arising from the 2008-09 financial crises. We explore key challenges and misconceptions in the business sector to re-conceptualize the role of corporate leadership, and more generally, businesses' important role in society. Our work is founded on the experience, expertise and thought leadership of veteran energy executive and private equity investor, Mac Van Wielingen.
Mac Van Wielingen
Founder & President
I have been a lifelong student of business leadership, with 35 years of entrepreneurship, private equity investing, and corporate director experience. Over the course of my career, I have found there is an understandable tendency to distill complexity into simplicity. The truth is that there is no short-cut to leadership excellence in the boardroom or to building a sustainable, long-term organization. There is no silver bullet or punchy one-line answer. The realities of business are complex, and advanced corporate governance involves a comprehensive and continuous search for understanding.
In 2010, we founded Viewpoint Research to explore these challenges, and more broadly to help reconceptualize the role of the board in business leadership. Our aim is to advance dialogue and spark progressive thought and change through education and engagement in the boardroom. I invite you to explore the work we are doing to help advance the conversation.
We have a very simple and basic view that people drive performance in organizations. We can never underestimate the power of highly engaged, purpose-driven, passionate employees - they go above and beyond, are incredibly trusting and loyal, and have unparalleled performance standards. They are leaders and bring people around them up. If we can help organizations understand where these people are in their organizations, or how to transform their experience to support these developments in high-performers, then we've done our job.
As we are often administering assessments and work as a third-party, it is especially important to provide clients and respondents with context, including how the data will be used, the anonymity of responses, and any additional information on how to answer questions appropriately. Our assessments are designed to be used as a developmental tool to help organizations improve various indicators of health, and as such, it is imperative that employees feel safe giving honest answers. When administering any of our work, it is made clear to respondents that their participation is completely confidential and anonymous, and that their answers would in no way affect their job safety. At Viewpoint Research, the integrity of data and subsequent conclusions are dependent upon successful anonymity, and as such, we hold these values in the highest regard. We will never release the raw data files to clients, including management or directors. This commitment to the highest levels of professionalism and ethical standards is fundamental to successful data collection and analysis.
We actively challenge ourselves and clients to engage in all forms of evidence-based decision making - getting a little less wrong, as we like to say. There is a gap in management practice, and we believe that companies and leaders deserve to be better informed. We aren't married to one idea, concept, framework, and piece of evidence, and we aren’t afraid to let new research and client insights confront and challenge our work. We value all forms of evidence and apply our expert and systematic judgement in decision making.
We strive for professionalism and excellence in all that we do – it drives our work, our behaviors and our relationships. We aim to be exemplary in all our work and interactions; we are performance driven, applying discipline and rigor to our work and striving towards innovative solutions. We encourage a culture of accountability and our actions encourage a high level of responsibility. We commit to always demonstrating trust and transparency in our work and relationships.
We are passionately curious and relentless truth-seekers in everything we do, valuing this within ourselves and those we work with. We bring this into every aspect of our work with a commitment to continuous improvement. We are a learning organization – awake and engaged with the world – skilled at creating, acquiring, and sharing knowledge. We ask probing questions, wonder why, and contemplate how things can be improved. This means that sometimes, we embrace confronting, challenging, and sometimes radical knowledge. It also means that in order to continuously evolve our understandings, we have to push through the predictable resistance that comes with confronting insights.
Having an aligned partnership with our clients, research partners, and readers is an important part of our work. We want all in our network to feel like they have a collaborative, open voice in what we are doing.
Specifically in client relationships, alignment means finding common ground on our values and expectations. We look for and appreciate cultures that are data-driven, with employees who have an insatiable curiosity. While there is always some level of resistance or reluctance, we hope to alleviate all concerns by modelling open-mindedness and transparency.