Bloomberg Businessweek in their “NEXT Innovation Tools and Trends” recently posted a blog about the Modern Corporation, and the refocus that must be paid towards the individual in the corporate process.
In the article “The Modern Corporation: It’s About People People” many excellent points are made. A corporation, although often more than the sum of its parts, is built of a specimen very easily lost in the fray: The Individual. With a hyper-focus on the employee, and the work accomplished for the company, it is easy to lose the whole person. Employee is only one of the many hats worn by each person, and innovation and creativity is bred from the nurturing of a wide spectrum of human experiences.
Similarly in market Research, it seems that perhaps a fundamental problem is that by hyper-focusing on the sale to the consumer, we lose along the wayside the experiences of people, for whom to be a consumer is only one of many hats worn.
Although we can all identify as being an employee or a consumer, I think most of us would agree that we identify even stronger with being parents, friends, spouses, etc…As researchers and innovators we need to look at a wider landscape of human experiences and emotion, and not merely the fragmented concept of a person we have cut away from the whole.
Psychologists are now saying that about 95% of decision making, whether for problem solving, or perhaps choosing which cereal to buy in the store is controlled by our sub-conscious, i.e. the memory bank of emotion and experience. Innovation comes from opening up of that memory bank and applying it to the situation in front of you. Only the smallest fraction of that has to do with being an employee, or in the case of market research a consumer. It all has to do with being human.
Ultimately, whether we are employees and innovators, or consumers in a grocery store, decisions are most inspired when we feel we are given the freedom to use our entire library of experiences, tools, and talents.
It’s about people, people.