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Here is a simple exercise. Go to your Business Analytics team or Market Intelligence Director, and ask them how many ideas or improvements their research work has produced in the last 36 months. Then ask them how many of those ideas have been implemented in the organization. Better yet, how many are in the process of implementation?
An honest discussion will unveil a simple truth. It’s not a lack of knowledge that is at the core of your organization’s stagnation. It is the lack of courage to act. As research methods evolve and become more sophisticated with new qualitative and quantitative tools and concepts, organizations remain quite resistant to taking action. Avoiding change and staying the course seems to be the prevailing modus operandi of many organizations.
Questioning data or seeking further analysis by geography, gender, age, etc. are all excuses. These are simply delaying tactics that hardly mask the true intention, which is to avoid taking action and activating change. Considering the amount of money invested in research, we ought to rethink the practice. It’s time to measure a return on investment (based on actions derived from research and organizational alignment) and take action.
I would like to propose a new way of rethinking research: