October 21, 2010
Here, I’m trying to suggest that it’s easy to gather learning from research, but it’s really tough to unearth game-changing, unrecognized and leveragable insight. Read more below:
Is it all about the tools? Partly, in the same way that auto racing is about the car. I prefer to say that surfacing breakthrough insights is about both Tools and Talent. And as you may know, it’s hard to find them both under one roof.
Tools: Here, I don’t mean making choices between ethnography and the focus group. I mean the uniquely effective take on research methods that exposes true underlying need states. Or perhaps a concept screening technique that asks consumers to focus on desired attributes rather than just voting for their favorite idea. Or even the kind of consumer interaction that eliminates group think and gets at real emotional underpinnings. Choosing the method is easy. Perfecting a technique is what separates standard-issue data gathering from surfacing deep, valid and instructive insights.
Talent: Execution is everything. But by that I don’t mean just nailing the logistics. I’m referring to a whole host of skills that enable the connection among observations, that sees something unspoken and pivotal in an activity, and can probe an interaction to extract unexpected value. How? Can’t be taught. It’s a skills recipe that includes:
- Empathy to win trust
- Analytical abilities to group and extrapolate observations
- Strategic thinking that can focus on solving for key objectives
- Organization skills that can present findings in a digestible and vivid way
- Communications skills that can tell a story and build consensus.
Where do you find both the Talent and the Tools that can change the rules in your category? Go deep…
If you enjoyed this cartoon, let me know and I can send you others (both past and upcoming) on a range of innovation topics. Or, you can click on the Original Cartoons link in this blog.