We’ve already written on the topic of insights becoming commodities. And, another wrinkle in the way that many teams work with insights is in an almost obsessive focus on “deployment.”
In our experience, corporate teams/brands often spend as much (if not more) time (and resources) “deploying learning” as they do in research itself, leaving them scratching their heads when smaller, more agile companies sprint into new product launches so quickly after spotting a new trend.
Clearly, it’s important that folks understand learning so that actions that we take are informed by the consumer/customer research. However, what can we learn from how startups operate to move more quickly from insight to action?
Here are a few ways to cut time out of the “deployment” process for faster results:
–Engage stakeholders in the learning up front–during the learning process, if possible. The more they can be involved throughout the process, the less they will have to be debriefed at the end. This could be as simple as sending a quick email update or having a brief weekly conversation about progress.
–Deploy learning in the context of meetings or workshops designed to drive business action, rather than focusing disproportionately on “understanding.” Make the learning coexist with forward momentum whenever possible.
–Leverage storytelling to make learning more self-digestible. Photo books and videos are easy to create and are often more effective at communicating learning–plus, they can replace the need for the scheduling nightmare of a large team gathered in one place for a deployment meeting. When people want to learn–because the content is interesting and engaging–they will consume it on their own, when they need it.
–Leverage tools that enable regular learning deployment, like monthly or weekly emails, quick debrief chats via Skype, or by sharing via central repository sites that are more visual and interactive, like Google Drive/Docs, SlideShare, Slack or DropBox.
Markets are changing and evolving constantly, so the longer a team sits on an insight, the more likely that insight is to become stale before it’s actually utilized in a practical way. Successful startups know that getting everyone aligned on the learning is actually not the priority; immediately turning that learning into action is what will ultimately enable them to grow their business.
The Garage Group enables corporate brands and teams to innovate and grow like startups, including by uncovering action-able insights and quickly leveraging them to develop and act on strategies and tactics to win in market.