Let’s create more influence
My goal is for all of us to become more effective researchers, analysts,planners, and strategists within our organizations; to really make a difference; to have our recommendations heard and accepted; to have that seat at the table; to help clients really, “Get It!”
As a profession, we know we struggle with this. We have all seen the Dilbert cartoons poking fun at us. A study by the Corporate Executive Board revealed that while 83% of senior leaders want us to be strategic partners with them, only 25% view us that way.
Meaningful discussions, as to how we close this strategic partner gap, are sorely missing within our publications and conferences. Our industry wants to stay within its comfort zone – techniques. The next technique is not going to close this gap. Big Data will not get us there. Putting in more hours will not get us there. But there are many things that we can do.
This is the reason for this blog – to discuss how we can close this gap; have our information and opinions heard; to have an impact on our organizations; to get our insights out from the bowels of the organization to the top floor.
We have to do it – no one else will
Jim Figora, former VP Consumer Insights at Colgate is on record as saying, “if they don’t take your recommendation, it’s your fault.” I like this sentiment. It puts the responsibility on us. Nothing will change unless we make it change. We don’t need permission from anyone; in fact, those 85% of senior leaders are just waiting for us to step up. We just need to do it. I will write about how we can do this in these discussions.
Good research is cost-of-entry.
When I first became the research director at H&R Block, I quickly learned that a strong market research team was not just about good methodology and execution. I have never had a senior leader ask me about methodology. That is just the cost of entry. It takes more.
In my 9 years there, I tried many things to get our team heard. Some worked, others didn’t. Then I would try something else. I’ve been to workshops, trainings, and conferences. I’ve studied decision making and influence. I would take that learning and try something different again. After all this, I can say for sure that I don’t have all the answers and that I am still learning.
I know I will learn and become more effective simply by going through the discipline of writing these posts. But I am hopeful that others will join the conversation and add their thoughts and opinions. I also plan to have guest writers give their point of view.
So join me and let’s figure this out.