Uncertain times, hidden opportunities

There’s never been a more testing time to work in business, and the IMA’s thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected by the coronavirus. I hope that you and your family manage to stay healthy.


In the workplace, Insight teams are being affected just like everyone else, but their experience varies widely depending on the nature of their organisation.


Some of our members are now busier than ever, for example helping their colleagues cope with the huge demand for basic groceries, or helping out on public services. 


But other Insight teams have already seen many of their projects cancelled as companies focus on existing initiatives and marketing takes a back seat.


So if you’re an Insight specialist now working from home, with less demand for analysis, or fewer requests for research, how should you make the most of your time? 


Set yourself a challenge: to read, to review and to reflect


Read widely, dig out those old research reports that you never found time to get the most out of, and figure out how the findings relate to all the other things your team knows about your customers and your market. There is always more value hiding in our existing work than in a single new project, but when do we ever have time to identify that value?


Review the ways that your Insight team works, your colleagues’ strengths and development areas, the skillsets you would like to improve, and the areas where other Insight teams have made more progress. Where have other Insight teams got ahead? Where does your team have an advantage on which you can build?


Reflect on the role that Insight could play in your wider organisation, the value that it could add in a perfect world, and the changes you would love to make if only you could step off the corporate hamster wheel for long enough. In a year’s time we may all look back and realise that this period actually represented a hidden opportunity.



These next few weeks and months will be equally strange for my team at the Insight Management Academy. We will have to suspend our face-to-face training, and the next Insight forum on Thursday 2nd April will now take place online - more details coming soon.


But there is much we can do to inspire, guide and support every leader who has the ambition to make Insight more effective in their organisation: 


  • We can provide all members with access to our online publications – 35 Insight leader guides, just 10 pages each, covering all the essential aspects of Insight management
  • We can benchmark your Insight capability, whenever you like, with a 10-minute online survey and complimentary report
  • And we can give expert advice via phone and email if you want a critical friend to challenge your assumptions about Insight, or help you to work out how best practice can be applied in your particular situation


If your organisation isn’t a member of the IMA, this might be the time to consider investing in Insight management best practice. We’re a very collegiate organisation, dedicated to helping Insight leaders to make Insight make a difference, and all the money we raise through subscriptions is invested back into our best practice work.


If you would like to take out a subscription or talk to us about our membership options, please contact us.


I’m sure this will continue to be an uncertain time for us all, but it will also bring some hidden opportunities. Please let us know if you would like our support.



James Wycherley

Chief Executive, IMA