The Self-Healing Powers of The Organisation – don’t take yourself too seriously!

March 29, 2010

What is it that links F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Dame Margot Fonteyn? All, I’m sure amongst others, have been accredited with a quote to the effect of “Take your job seriously, not yourself”. In other words, at the workplace, it’s what you do not who you are that impacts and influences your colleagues.

When you move on from an organisation do it with grace regardless of circumstances. Over the years I have seen some many people leaving organizations in states of the highest dudgeon or under the lowest cloud, convinced to the core that the company will rue the day it let them go. And, the company never, ever does. Read the rest of this entry »


Need A “Next Step” Strategy? Try taking someone different out to lunch.

March 12, 2010

As a recent refugee from the world of big corporates, I’ve been fascinated to observe attitudes to the “majors” in the rest of the Market Research community. Often they are portrayed as monoliths run by corporate “bean counters” who, while fundamentally uninterested in research quality, nonetheless somehow steal the best clients leaving “decent” smaller MR companies with nothing but crumbs. This kind of “Walmart versus the family store” characterisation is, I am afraid, as superficial as the original retailer version.

Dust Off The Expense Card - It's Time For Lunch!

In fact some of the advantages ascribed to the majors are not as significant as might be thought, and  a change of focus by mid/smaller companies could  help them become  more competitive. Without giving away too much, the guts of my advice to them boils down to: “lusting after your rich neighbour’s glitzy clients will only cause problems”, plus a suggestion to “have lunch with someone you have little in common with, and whose approach you may not particularly like”.

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Asia’s Talent Challenge – From Roots to Shoots

March 4, 2010

The depth of research talent in Asia is not as deep as the magnitude and complexity of the market warrants.  Given recent trends, if things continue as they are, the situation is unlikely to improve and could get worse. Measures are needed to both establish fundamental standards in the profession and to ensure that ongoing career development is offered to those remaining in the industry. Otherwise, even if entry levels are raised we will still suffer from the problem of the ‘missing middle’, the cadre that is the engine room of the industry and the testing ground for future leaders, especially on the agency side.

Starting with standards, the introduction of some form of certification that was broadly accepted industry-wide in the region could go a long way to help. The importance of training with respect to the ongoing health and prosperity of the industry must be generally understood, appreciated, and supported by all stakeholders in the field of market research. I recognise that it’s impossible to get complete agreement on anything like this but we should look for some minimum standards accepted, practiced, and observed by a the industry as a whole. This includes buyers on client side, the research suppliers (major international agencies, local/regional specialists, and sole operators) the industry bodies, and research professionals as individuals Read On..>