Research: Perspective not Directive

Identify Opportunity. Mitigate Risk.

“We should research that.” A common phrase when a team struggles to come to alignment around a decision. It’s a real question to fulfill a real need, but setting expectations is important.

Research doesn’t tell you what to do.

Research is great at doing two things: identifying opportunities and mitigating risks. It gives your team critical, external perspective. Insight from a study can sometimes show clear paths to avoid, or directions that resonate stronger than others, but it won’t make the decision for you. Insight based decision making must still align with your business goals and be executed to perfection. 

Identifying opportunities.

Whether exploring potential directions or comparing specific directions – research can help uncover new opportunities or potential upsides to one direction over another. This aspect of research helps us better understand the “what could be” aspects of a certain decision. Often times these opportunities are not a clear thumbs up or thumbs down. Most frequently we see opportunities like this: Option A is more preferred and clearly communicates a specific attribute, whereas Option B is less preferred overall but is seen as being unique and better communicates a different attribute. It comes down to a business decision about what aligns to the overall strategy, but now is more informed with specific insight.

Mitigating risk.

Knowing the level of risk a certain decision holds can be good motivation for external feedback. Many business assess risk by level of investment. Big investment means more riding on a given decision. In the pharmaceutical and medical space, risk takes on a new meaning with patient health being at stake. Potential medication error is a significant risk and a key focus for mitigation.

MedERRS, the Drug Safety Division of Leaderboard Branding, has deep expertise in mitigating this type of risk and often uses research as a tool to identify potential challenges.

Be clear about goals.

When going into research it is important to clearly establish goals. What key opportunities do we hope to uncover and how? What risks might we expect to mitigate and how could they be mitigated? Well-articulated goals are helpful in working with a research partner in order to have a clear view of what success looks like.

Keep an open mind.

Often times, the best insights come from happy accidents. A company may enter into research looking to mitigate specific risks and uncover amazing opportunities. Leveraging research insight not just for your next decision, but the decisions down the road, is a great way to maximize your research investment and operate a smarter, more well-informed organization. These insights can become competitive advantages to help propel your organization forward.

What is next?

Do you have a big decision in front of you where you need to identify opportunity or mitigate risk? Leaderboard would love the opportunity to partner with you and your organization to best identify how research could help you achieve your goal in making a well-informed decision.

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