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