Every so often you will see a discussion where we market researchers, with help from the odd client, beat ourselves up about how lacking in innovation we’ve supposedly become, and how conservative we seem to be as an industry. I’m not quite sure where I stand on the debate about how conservative MR people are, but I’m increasingly sure that we often miss the point about what “innovation” in MR really is, and why it matters.
My view is that far from being super conservative, most researchers are fascinated by “trends” and new ideas. But too often we mistake “trend-following” for “innovation”. We (and I include myself in this) love to discuss all the latest technologies, techniques and re-packaged jargon, so we flit like butterflies from one new idea to another, never quite developing their potential or integrating the new techniques with old ones.
It’s not “innovation” we lack, it’s “implementation”. David took that point up in a post last year (see: Innovate or Ossify) suggesting that the biggest issue is not lack of innovative ideas per se, as a lack of the right people and skill sets to turn ideas into action.