From our experience, the results of research are increasingly being treated as an academic exercise rather than a catalyst for action. So how can this change? I am sure you have your own views; however, if you will indulge me, here are a few thoughts of mine on how we can start to see insight driving action:
- Start at the top – Involve senior decision makers at the start of the process, not at the end.
- Attention to detail – Ensure the methodology and conclusions are watertight
- Make the conclusions memorable and compelling – Engage your audience. Build a ‘strong story’ using the findings to support clear business recommendations in a creative way. Use video and images instead of the over-used and too often wordy ‘PowerPoint’ presentation.
Even when faced with a sound business reason for change, there are too many excuses not to – inertia sets in. The dictionary defines inertia as: ‘A tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged’. As business owners, this can be translated into: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’
The trouble with this approach is that opportunities are missed, customers move on looking for something new and the realisation that ‘it wasn’t broke, but it was out dated’ comes too late – as evidenced by the number of high profile casualties this year To stand still is to go backwards
Even when the business accepts that change is needed – too often ‘lack of IT resource’ becomes a huge road block. Fresh thinking and looking for outside expertise could be the answer. As we start to see signs of economic recovery, this is the time for brave decisions and creative thinking – not a time to simply support the ‘Status Quo’.