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Rubber … Meet Road. Time to Decide What to Do!

Day 2 of the Insight Innovation eXchange in Amsterdam provided even more content to chew on, making me feel like Dionysus at a banquet being stuffed continually by chefs from all sides. Richard Evenson offers advice on moving from thinking to acting.

Photo Credit: Javier Minguez


By Richard Evensen

Day 2 of the Insight Innovation eXchange in Amsterdam provided even more content to chew on, making me feel like Dionysus at a banquet being stuffed continually by chefs from all sides.

One presentation aptly summed up my feelings of content-overload: “Stop Eating the Menu!”

So, now, satiated on content and industry connections, we head back to the “real world” (wherever and whatever that may be) and …

Well, that’s the question. What do we do? More importantly, what do we do differently than we did before?

Post-conference, there are soooo many options but only so much time (and, for market researchers, definitely only so much money). So, how do we take all of these content-rich presentations and – as we advise our clients – ACT on the insights?!

At the risk of being shot for providing yet more content to digest, I offer this simple construct for moving from thinking to acting:

  1. Take a piece of paper (or open an Excel sheet, if you prefer) and label 4 columns with Interesting, Innovative, Important and Urgent. These are defined as follows:
    • Interesting – The tidbits you picked up which you can remember but wouldn’t necessarily implement. “Good to know” but definitely not game-changers.
    • Innovative – The new approaches, techniques, products, processes, etc which are making you wonder “what if?”. These might be game-changers, or may be vaporware.
    • Important – The stuff you know you “need to do” and, in many cases, probably keep putting off. Yup, that stuff!
    • Urgent – The thing(s) you saw which you feel/know could impact you in a major way. Think in terms of both opportunity and threat.
  2. Using the definitions above as guidelines (but not limits), relax now and allow yourself to do some free-thinking about everything you saw, did, heard, felt and experienced at IIeX.
  3. Simply write down whatever comes into your head in the column where it feels like it fits. Don’t over-think it. Just do it.
  4. Using a bit more analytical rigor, go through what you wrote and cross out or move anything which doesn’t fit. It’s OK to cull/change until you have things where you want them. Optimally, you should only have one (max two) Urgent items.
  5. Now, the Action Plan. For the insights you have in each column, do the following:
    • Interesting – Keep on the radar … but do nothing. Yes, sometimes no action is best.
    • Innovative – Request more info … then do nothing unless something is important.
    • Important – Make this/these your 12 month goal. Define the following:
      • Barriers to each
      • Solutions to the barriers
      • Time in which you will take action on the solutions
    • Urgent – Take a similar approach as with Important item(s) … and promise everyone in your support network that you will make this change within the next 6 weeks!

In reality, you may not do anything about the Interesting, Innovative and even Important items. That’s fine. If you make just ONE valuable change, you’ll have a great ROI from the event.

And, if you follow the approach outlined above, you WILL do that one Urgent item. Why? I present to you the most effective technique for optimizing change: Peer Pressure!

And with that, I bid adieu to all the great presenters and people I met and look forward to seeing you at the next IIeX.


Photo: Javier Minguez

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3 responses to “Rubber … Meet Road. Time to Decide What to Do!

  1. Chris, this was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I’ve been in the industry for 20+ years and know how hard it is for folks to change and have been to so many conferences where everyone gets hyped up … then nothing happens.

    For the first time in years, I do see change happening in market research (no, really!).

    I do appreciate being seen as under 25 though. At my age, that’s definitely a compliment 🙂

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