Information is Everywhere, Perspective is More Rare

Today, I will be giving a talk at the annual gathering of Qualitative Researchers. What a thrill to be among very smart people who uncover the insights that help us innovate.

I spent the day yesterday holed up in my studio preparing. When I awakened this morning it dawned on me that part of the job of any research is to synthesize down what we discover. And that may be the greatest gift of a talented researcher.

Take, for instance, the researchers who discovered that for years we have misunderstood what motivates people, mainly because we relied on survey data that was under-synthesized. When qualitative researchers dug into the human subtext, a more complete picture emerged. The findings earned their place in HBR’s “Breakthrough Ideas of 2010”. (pdf)

There is no scarcity of data. There is a paucity of perspective. I am stoked to share the day with people who are all about gaining the human perspective to help business evolve.

Just think what I’m going to learn.