Change Insights : No Two Scans are the Same
One of the reasons for seeking insights about future change is to reduce uncertainty. Another reason however is to have unique insight for advantage over peers. These reasons contend with each other. How can they be reconciled?
Those wanting future insight have four broad options: they may scan for it themselves, in-source temporary expertise, use off-the-shelf content, or commission personalised research. Off-the-shelf research offers the least unique insight, but still has a lot of value to offer.
How do we create unique, subjective insight from off-the-shelf/generic research? Three ways stand out
- Combine generic insights with private, specific research
- Use personalised processes to interpret the insight for the organisation/individual and its context
- Apply research to see its effect, pay close attention to its reception and adapt to its feedback
While these three can be applied individually, in combination they magnify the value of insights.
For example, consider a jewellery design house. They receive broad insights about automation reducing the need for a workforce, easier mass production of decorative items through additive manufacturing, and easy to use design platforms on consumer electronic devices.
- Specific research shows that as availability of mass market items increases, the demand for unique, beautiful and high value items also increases
- It analyses the balance of large, small and unique run products and researches the values of its client base
- It invests in two new projects. First, it creates items to test the increased value placed on a new category of extremely limited, individual and high cost pieces. Second, it has a small research project to look at the application of new technologies to individualised design.
Applying the same insights to a plastic pipe manufacturer would lead them in a totally different direction. They may move towards decorative and individualised piping for special projects. In both cases, the creative eye of the workforce would be more highly valued.
Why is this interesting?
Procuring and circulating research is one thing, but it is the application that delivers the value.
Also published on Medium.