As we look at the first step in the action-oriented process, the best practice of organizational engagement can be defined as: build momentum for future action by engaging the organization well before the insight generation process begins. Let’s explore this best practice a little more deeply by way of a metaphor. In many ways, organizational engagement can be equated to a wedding engagement. Most marriages go through a period of engagement before the wedding day. During this period, the couple develops a sense of trust and understanding that establishes a foundation for a successful marriage. As a thought experiment, imagine what it would be like not to have this engagement period: Can you imagine meeting your soon to be spouse on the day of your wedding without being engaged first?org engagement

As we apply that metaphor to a market research context, the same principle applies: it’s important to get to know your stakeholders intimately before you embark on a market research initiative. This engagement period enables you to develop a sense of trust and understanding that is critical in driving action at the conclusion of the project. Most people would not embark on a marriage without a lengthy engagement period, so why should researchers embark on a research initiative without a robust engagement period? Image courtesty of LJ Mears on Flickr Creative Commons

Ellen Hart is a Senior Associate Consultant at Vivisum Partners. She specializes in in-depth qualitative research in healthcare and nonprofit fields.

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