Sometimes real life overwhelms the best intentions. Everyone will have times when their best laid plans are derailed by mounds of paperwork and errands that take twice as long as first thought.
At work it’s often a similar story; everyone knows the feeling of letting another day go by without starting a big important project because there’s a big chunk of admin to get through first. And it’s not just new documents, spreadsheets, and slide decks that get pushed down the priority list, line managers’ best intentions to “catch-up with their customers” via market insights research are often put on hold too.
Managers across industries are increasingly being asked to make business decisions at a quicker rate, involve a growing number of stakeholders in the decisions, and base it all on an overwhelming abundance of data.
Processing the large set of inputs for a given decision in the short timelines required is nigh on impossible at times, and leads to business partners using biases and gut instinct in their decision making. And all this results in too many alarmingly low-quality decisions. In fact, business partners today believe that less than 50% of their strategic decisions were successful, according to CEB analysis.
Become a Decision Enabler
Much like having to deal with all that admin outside of work, the best approach is firstly just to accept the burden and the work to be done. Market insights (MI) teams need to understand that business partners can’t change the decision-making culture, and the wisest strategy for MI teams is to help business partners make sense of all the inputs on which they must base their decision. In short, MI professionals need to serve as “decision enablers.”
Three steps will help with this.
Gain visibility and expertise: MI teams should get a good understanding of the goals and challenges faced by the business they support. Their recommendations and insights need to be directly related to business needs and paint a picture of the full business context surrounding a decision.
Match decision makers’ timelines: Market Insights must take into account business partners’ work processes, and work in tandem with these timelines.
Guide business partners in navigating the information landscape: Market Insights must help business partners know which information to access when.