MRA enlisted several researchers attending the Corporate Researchers Conference in Dallas in September to report back summaries & insights from the conference sessions. This report is on “Leading at the Bleeding Edge: Reinventing Roles in the New Normal” by Gayle Fuguitt, formerly Vice President, Global Consumer Insights at General Mills.
Gayle had a tough challenge – the last presenter at the jam-packed three-day 2012 Corporate Researchers Conference and she did not disappoint. Her presentation was right on point and offered a plethora of tips and tricks for us Corporate Researchers to go back and implement in our daily lives.
|Changing roles and terms||70s-80s||90s-2000s||Approaching 2020|
Gayle presented a Top 10 List of tried and true tips, techniques, teasers and tantalizers for us all to embrace:
10. A feedback loop + future vision = strategic agenda
- Ask, listen, act, and close the loop
9. Leaders reinvent themselves
- You need to set your world class global insights table
- You should think in terms of scientist, artist and guru
- Build a table of leaders vs. a table of “me’s”
- Be an orchestra director vs. a pilot
8. Reinvent your global insights footprint frequently
- Check and re! fine your toolkit frequently visa via trends
7. Align Risk to Rigor
- Spend on Strategy First
6. Reinvent from a “job shop” to an insight shop
5. Listen. Next Generation needs guide, not BOSS
- Invest in their ideas → “skin in the game”
- One idea is to give 1% of your budget for them to invest in their ideas
4. Promote for deliverables not “time in grade”
- PAST: It’s been xxx years so it’s time for a promotion
- NOW: It needs to be “I’ve defined $5m in growth opportunity “– it should be about results
3. Quantify the impact of your organization early AND often in “C-Suite-ese” (#’s and $$)
- Check your objectives / mission
- Do you “advise”, “consult” or “create, deliver, reinvent”?
2. Work on your voice and have your team practice
- “Often right, but never heard” paradox
1. Timing is EVERYTHING
- Bad decisions make good stories
Gayle offered a variety of insights throughout her presentation:
- You have to know where you’ve been to know where you are going.
- Stay connected with internal customers and what they need from MR; respond to the feedback
- Assemble a strong and diverse colleague network – a balanced table of leaders
- Evolve toolkit and team structure – role is to generate meaningful insights
- Spend on strategy projects first
- Listen and guide next generation – invest in their ideas; get their backs
- Work on your voice – grown from “often right; never heard” to “real time; real clear; decisive; engaged”
- Quantify and share success early and often
- Keep yourself optimistic and fresh, tenacious, relentless, and fearless
Research Magazine has a great article on Gayle’s 30 years of impact as a client-side researcher.