Too many research reports are train wrecks of charts, arrows, and statements that simply play back the graphics, or even worse, regurgitate the detailed methodology with no forward looking implications.

For senior executives, it means a confusing (and at best, boring) jumble of information – pointing in all kinds of directions without really saying anything.

If you have research responsibility, apply this maxim for great strategic thinking from Gary Singer, a wonderful strategist and former Chief Strategy Officer at Interbrand. His comment to me was:

  • Good researchers go to the edge of the data and step back – to be cautious & statistically sound.
  • Good consultants go to the edge of the data and stop – to be sure they’re on solid footing & that the client will buy off.
  • Great strategic thinkers go to the edge of the data, formulate a sound next set of assumptions that the audience can comment on & agree to, and then keep going to expand understanding & get to revealing insights.

It’s a simple statement and hard to do, but done successfully, it promises incredible business results. Use it as your new strategic hurdle to clear! – Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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One Response to “Research Review Week – Keep Going!”

  1. Mike Brown says:

    jhenning said…
    Great analogy. I am convinced excellent research is as much about sound analytical technique as it is about creative insights. The researcher provides data without creativity. The consultant often provides creativity without data. Only the strategist is able to offer both.

    October 14, 2009 9:22 PM

    Mike Brown said…
    Thanks for the perspective Jeffrey! I really like how you’ve framed up the mix of creativity and analytics as indicating the balance between researcher, consultant, and strategist. I’ll be incorporating it (credited of course) into presentations on this topic. Mike

    October 15, 2009 5:37 AM