The world is changing every day.
It's time to pay attention. Steve and I want to start this post with a plethora of gratitude to the selfless people who are risking themselves daily to be sure there is medical treatment, food, and medicines available to all of us. From first responders to front line grocery and pharmacy workers, thank you all, truly.
For the rest of us, it's time to hunker down at home. As a very small business, we know as well as anyone, the implication of not earning income. We also know that we would far rather be broke, than dead. (That said, Steve and I have a host of skills if you need paid help on a project).
This pandemic is nothing to be trifled with. So we ask that, if you're not working from home and can, please start. If you are well, watch out for your neighbours. Rediscover the telephone and reach out to people you know. Let them know you're thinking of them. This is going to be a long one.
Still, we're optimistic. We see incredible acts of kindness and selflessness every day (they're there if you look for them). Magical thinking solves nothing. Instead, step back. Take stock. Figure out what to to do build a little fortress, lay in supplies, and stay tuned. We'll still be sending updates once a week via our newsletter (subscribe below), and posting here.
Let me know what you need. I'm Megann Willson and for two decades I've been helping clients talk through their big hairy challenges. My number's on the contact tab, or you can find our company on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. We'll get through this, together!
A little over a week ago, I was at a GATE (Gender and the Economy) event at Rotman. Here's a clip of Abigail Moriah talking about her experience. (If you can't see it, you can't be it).
Later in the event, Shirley Hoy talked about the importance of being able to zoom in, and zoom out, when approaching any issue. The next day, we were involved in a really spirited discussion with clients about something similar. Whether it's design thinking, or understanding customers, or working through a business challenge, the ability to take multiple perspectives is invaluable. It's where that old adage about not being able to see the forest for the trees comes from.
Why is this important to you? If you want to make #better decisions, by all means, look at the big picture. That's critical. Then take time to focus on a few details. And lastly, zoom back out again to see if what you saw at the beginning looks the same as it did when you first considered it.
My name is Megann Willson, and I'm one of the Partners here at PANOPTIKA. With my partner, Steve Willson, we work with our clients to find practical, usable solutions to their customer challenges. We can help you cut through complexity and ambiguity and zoom in on what's important. Find more insights on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Then click below to sign up for weekly news that will help you make better decisions for your business.
Groundhog Day has a reputation for being a day when the same inane scenario repeats itself, well, repeatedly. And Albert Einstein is widely credited with defining insanity as, “Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. There’s one situation where we at PANOPTIKA think Einstein was wrong, and you might want to be a bit more like the groundhog.
Most of the research we do for our clients is custom research, so naturally, it can be adapted to be different every time. Questions and lines of discovery, methodologies, and even target audiences, can be switched out or massaged to meet their varying objectives. But there’s still one kind of research that we recommend you do over, and over again with few changes – at least for three years running. Tracking studies, or longitudinal studies, or wave studies, involve taking measures of your key performance indicators. Those, you want to keep as static as you can.
Let me explain. Some of you may be fortunate enough to be in an industry that there is market data regularly released in syndicated reports, so you can check those numbers on an annual, or even quarterly, basis. Do that, if you’re able. Many of our clients are in highly sensitive industries, or very specialized verticals, and that means they need to source this kind of data by using primary research. In this case, we recommend they (and you, if this is your kind of company), undertake a standalone tracking study with as many levers as possible controlled, at least once annually.
This isn’t because we don’t want you to ask new questions or learn new things. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This study should reveal if there are changes occurring over time. It will let you see whether the target audience (your core clients) are having an attitude shift. Or whether patterns are emerging that might present you with a new opportunity, or reveal an unanticipated risk. You’ll also be able to be more confident that you’re not getting different answers, just because you changed how you’re asking the questions.
Tracking studies can be helpful for your budget, as well. With custom studies, a big piece of your cost is developing the research methodology, working with you to determine the target, and so on – basically, setting the foundation. Just like marketing tactics or online education of your clients, if you then go to “rinse and repeat”, your costs should diminish somewhat. Partners like us will often provide you pricing in advance for additional waves of the study, so you can make a better estimate of next year’s costs.
So, while we won’t advise you approach insanity (by Einstein’s definition), as we approach this year’s Groundhog Day, call us to talk about whether a tracking study is right for you.
My name is Megann Willson, and I’m one of the Partners here at PANOPTIKA. We work with you to see everything that will help you make better decisions for your business or career. You can also find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. And if you sign up before Friday, you’ll get this week’s issue of news you can use delivered straight to your inbox. Just click the button below to register. (We don't need to ask you twice, right?)
Do you ever have one of those days where it seems like you're being sent the same message again and again? I've had one of those already today.
If you're like many business people, you may have started the year off with not only some personal resolutions, but some business ones, as well. We all have great plans when we're sitting on a comfy couch and the phone isn't ringing, our email isn't pinging, and we're not being bombarded by social media messages. Slowly, surely, though, we can slip. Even if we've been doing a great job, we can lose our vigilance and let distractions and habits creep in, that will move us away from where we intended to go. Unexpected events can break our concentration and mess up our plans.
You may find that you've been able to stick with your plan really closely (congratulations, well done!), or you might have something happen that has happened with a few of our connections this week. I took a fall this morning, shortly after crowing about how well my exercise plan has been going. (No worries, pride aside, I'm all good). The first thing I thought was, I need to remind people to get back up! You may have a personal event knock you for a loop, like one of our friends and colleagues, who had an unhappy loss completely break her usually unflappable stride. Or you might be like our friend Debbie Adams of PeopleCan consulting, who spent longer than planned in Halifax, with recent weather events in Newfoundland throwing a wrench in her travel arrangements, and her travel schedule skew her personal success practice just a little.
All of these things have something in common. Not one of us decided that because we'd had a slip or a slide, we should sit down and stop. Nope. We've all got enough experience that we knew what to do. Get up. Get up right away, and get going. (In fact Debbie had a great video teaching session this morning about falling off the wagon - and how the right response is to chase the wagon!)
Whether it's "great minds think alike", or as my father-in-law would say, "fools seldom differ", all of us have learned this lesson that I'm sharing with you today. As a quote I read on social media yesterday said, you're not starting over, you're starting from experience. Go get 'em.
I'm Megann Willson and I'm one of the Partners here at PANOPTIKA. We work with our clients to help them see everything they need to know, to make better decisions for their career or their business. You can also find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, and if you sign up, we'll send news you can use (but not too much), direct to your inbox every Friday afternoon. We love to watch you grow.
Today's post is a short one, and not even on our usual day. Why? Because on this day, the Eve of Resolution, we're asking for nothing. We just want to thank you for reading our posts. Thanks for your business. Thanks for all the work we've done together thus far.
No offers, no special promotions, no directives. Just a heartfelt thank you and our best wishes for the fresh start we're all hoping for in 2020. On Thursday we'll be back at our desks. If you need help then, to make some sort of fresh start with your customers, we'll be ready. For now, a safe, happy, and healthy New Year to you all.
I'm Megann Willson, and I'm one of the Partners here at PANOPTIKA. My Partner in Everything is Steve Willson. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, or by signing up for our newsletter using the button below this post.
Megann and Steve, Partners in PANOPTIKA, are working for our clients every day to help them see everything they need to know to make better decisions in their complex business environment.
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