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Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Human Side of Thought Leadership Research

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Adding a human side to research data.


Adding a human side to research data.

An interview with Manish Bahl about merging traditional market research with human insights.

Do you know why you choose one brand over another?

Traditional market research focuses on what people are buying. They study the number of items sold, where they’re sold, and how those numbers are shifting.
But traditional research doesn’t tell you why people are acting in a certain way. That’s where human insight comes in!

To understand the best way to merge human insight with market data, I’ve invited Manish Bahl to join me for a conversation. Manish is the Chief Executive and Founder of Curious Insights – where the company mission is to humanize data for analyst firms and organizations.

Traditional research has its place, but it can show a limited, one-dimensional perspective. Manish explains how data often misses the “human connection,” and how the warmth of human insights can make research truly revelatory. Adding an understanding of human behavior, the way individuals think and feel, puts people back at the center of market research..

Convincing C-Suite executives to participate in surveys and interviews can be a challenge. Their time is precious, but so is the information they have to offer. Manish shares his best tips for turning a data-driven interview into a two way street, where both parties are engaged and learning from the discussion.

Manish also discussed how to create content that is fresh and compelling. Too often, content creators become focused on SEO results, which can create bland, cookie-cutter content. Manish shares how having passion and invoking curiosity in your audience can draw people in – and take your ideas to scale.

Three Key Takeaways:
  • Blending human science with data collection allows us to understand what customers think and feel about our thought leadership.
  • In order to have successful interviews, the interviewer must also be transparent and open. A conversational experience will yield better results than a static list of questions.
  • People have a short attention span. If your content does not grab them in the first 5–10 lines, you will lose them.

If you need a strategy to bring your thought leadership to market, Thought Leadership Leverage can assist you! Contact us for more information. In addition, we can help you implement marketing, research, and sales. Let us help you so you can devote yourself to what you do best.

Join the Organizational Thought Leadership Newsletter to learn more about expanding thought leadership within your organization! This monthly newsletter is full of practical information, advice, and ideas to help you reach your organization’s thought leadership goals.

And if you need help scaling organizational thought leadership, contact Thought Leadership Leverage or reach out to Bill Sherman on Linkedin!


 


Transcript

Bill Sherman Let’s talk about thought leadership and research. Now, you’re probably thinking about the quantitative research that leads to dense charts and graphs, the data that adds gravitas to white papers and reports. And there’s a place for those. But today, I want to talk about qualitative research. Yes, the human side of research. It’s easy to forget that amid all the numbers and data points, there are real human insights that can help organizations get a 360 view of their audience. Today’s guest is uniquely qualified at finding the authenticity and empathy beyond the numbers. He’s Manish Bahl, chief executive and founder of Curious Insights, a global market research firm on a mission to humanize research. And I’m eager to talk with him about the process of interviewing executives and providing value both during the interview and the report phases. I’m Bill Sherman and you’re listening to Leveraging Thought Leadership. Ready? Let’s begin. Welcome to the show, Manish.

Manish Bahl Thanks, Bill. Thanks for having me.

Bill Sherman So I want to begin with a question that you and I have talked about before, but I think I want to pull our audience into as well, which is the human side of research. It’s easy to fall in love with the numbers and say, let’s go get data. What’s missing when we just look at numbers on their own?

Manish Bahl Yeah, you’re absolutely right, Bill. If you look at, you know, traditional research, you know, maybe uses a one dimensional survey data model, which means that what percentage of people are saying what? Which is absolutely fine. We really need that data. That model is extremely important. But we believe a modern research approach should begin more broadly, which means the recognition that companies, products and services touch nearly every aspect of human lives. And that’s where we found human insights to be the missing connective link in the industry. So what we do is basically we apply data plus human insights to put people back at the center of research because it takes more than a survey to truly understand human behavior. So by blending, you know, human science with data collection and analysis allows us to understand not only how customers think at sea, but why the think and feel the way they do that is extremely important. And just to give you an example, you know, the survey data will tell you how your customers spend their money. But human behavioral focused qualitative insights will reveal the experience they are seeking when they spend and what it is really like for them to use your products and services. And from a corporate world perspective, you know, if you look at you know, you can always look at, you know, the quantitative survey insides, how much it leaders plan to spend on technology in the next 12 months, which is good to know. But also we really need to shed light on what makes a good leader in the first place. So by being curious, you know, we begin to understand data rather than just interpreting it, because it pays to be curious at the end of the day.

Bill Sherman And that’s one of the things where I want to focus a little bit of the time and attention. So there’s the classic B2C marketing research data. But you alluded to the what I would describe certainly in tech, but is more B to B when you’re trying to understand the needs of an executive level decision maker and how they see the world today versus what problems they’re trying to solve. And I think one of the challenges with thought leadership arises is you may be creating solutions to problems that are not necessarily on their radar yet. You’re one step ahead of where they may be. So let’s talk a little bit about the interviews with those C-level executives. That’s certainly an area where it’s precious time. Right. And my first question is, okay, you do a survey and you actually get a sea level exact to agree to do an interview with you. How do you get their attention? How do you get them engaged?

Manish Bahl Yeah, that’s a very good question, Bill. If you look at, you know, at the end of the day, leaders, right. Whether you are a CEO or the CFO or any of the C-level executives in an organization, you are still a human being. You know, you have stories to share. You know, you have beliefs, you have attitudes, you have motivations. Right. And our objective is to, you know, get into those, you know, perspectives rather than just collecting data. So when I get on a call with C-level executives, right, my goal objective is not to conduct an interview, but rather how to begin a discussion, how to have a fruitful conversation so that these C-level executives also learn, you know, from what we are seeing in the market, because at the end of the day, it’s a two way communication. You know, it’s not only about, you know, me asking questions to dad, you know, what do you do and how you’re going to handle this situation or that situation? It is more about sharing your own experience with them and having, you know, making them feel comfortable, you know, about this, about the about the subject, about the deal that we are talking about. It is extremely important because at the end of day, we are having a discussion and a conversation. These people agreed to spend their precious 30 to 40 minutes time with us, and we want to make sure that they also learn something from the discussion. What we are hearing from other C-level executives. So we have been pretty much open, you know, when we talk to them, what they’re hearing from others and how their perspective is similar or would be very different from, you know, what we are seeing, what we are hearing from the market. So I think it’s more about having a conversation and building a discussion rather than just conducting one qualitative interview. That is extremely important, I believe.

Bill Sherman So in your experience and you may have a story or an example, when is that moment when you know that the interview with the sea level executive is going well? How can you tell? It’s like, okay, this is exactly what we want it to be.

Manish Bahl Yeah. Now that’s a that’s a very good point, right? If you look at it, when I’m having a conversation with C-level executives, I’d, I’d try to get into details of specific instances what exactly happened, you know, that particular moment that triggered, you know, that, you know, particular part or, you know, data point maybe. But ultimately we tried to get into specific instances. So I tried to get the context of the situation. Just to give you an example, you know, one of the you know, one of the interviews that I’ve had recently, you know, with a C-level executive for a large organization, it’s an MNC. And we’re talking about digital transformation. You know, digital transformation has been around for so many years, but still many organizations struggle with it. Digital transformation has less to do with technology and money and more about the culture. What about the nuances that exist in the organization? And when you touched upon this particular aspect, you know, the CSO got very excited and sort of sharing his stories when they tried to implement the particular project, you know, the kind of challenges that they faced. People were not comfortable. They didn’t get much, you know, buy in from other stakeholders across the organization. And they had a tough time, you know, dealing with the situation to get that project, that technology, you know, implemented. And that technology was meant for the organization and not for an individual. But still, you know, he struggled a lot convincing everyone that why it is important and how it is going to create a competitive edge for the organization. So what I’m saying is, you know, when you get into such discussions, right, these guys, they really open up and they are you know, they have they have plenty of examples, experiences. Right. And we really want to do a deep dive on those experiences rather than just collecting the, you know, couple of data points. So so I think that that’s the as if you can make a C-level executives comfortable talking to you, sharing, you know, his or her perspective. And in return, you also sharing what you are seeing in the market. That’s how you build more of a, you know, kind of a situation.

Bill Sherman So those opening couple of minutes in the interview. Right, I would assume were important and they set the tone and tenor. Are there any things that you intentionally do in that interview or that you’re looking for and draw out? How do you get started on a good foot?

Manish Bahl Yeah. So the way I got started is basically, you know, I do not want the C-level executive to start sharing his or her experiences or conversations right from the very first tense, first 5 minutes. It’s more about getting that person comfortable. And the way I do it is basically sharing my experience. For instance, if the subject is on tissue transformation, you know, I will tell the person, so this is what we are hearing from the market. You know, this is what other CXOs are telling us. Right. And we want to hear your perspective. Do you agree with these, you know, perspectives or you have an altogether different take when it comes to the future of your business with the digital? And that’s how the conversation gets started. You know, the person says, oh, no, I agree, I don’t agree. I’m somewhere in the middle. And that’s how we start getting into discussion. Okay. Right. Why are you why do you agree and why do you don’t agree? You don’t get rid of the particular statements. Right. That we have made. So I think first five nuts is more about me sharing my experience, what I’ve been hearing from the market and also right based on my experience as an analyst that I’ve loved in the past. And that’s what we’ve been the conversation. Right? And we go with the flow, right? So obviously there are some specific set of questions that I share beforehand with these C-level executives. But many times, right. We don’t follow the structure at all. It we just, you know, go with the flow. And that’s the beauty of having the, you know, these qualitative discussions with C-level executives.

Bill Sherman So one of the things that I hear and it also aligns with my experience is you have to bring yourself into the conversation. You can’t just bring the clipboard and the props and hope that you’re going to have magically good answers appear in an interview. You’ve got to be showing some vulnerability first.

Manish Bahl Absolutely right, because ultimately we have to understand and respect, you know, these people’s precious time right up there with the need to spend 30 minutes with you. Right. We want to make sure that they get maximum from this conversation because it’s not a one way street at the end. They should also learn, you know, from this discussion rather than they telling us what is happening in their organization. So I prefer to have a do a, you know, kind of a communication, right, rather than just collecting information and dumping that information to my clients.

Bill Sherman So you’ve spent a lot of time personally in research and interviewing. My question for you is, what have you learned over the course of doing as many interviews as you’ve had? What has made you a better interviewer?

Manish Bahl Yeah. If you ask me, I’m still learning, to be honest, because nobody’s perfect is the fact that I’m still learning based on that each and every conversation that I’ve had with the C-level executives, but based on whatever that I’ve learned so far, I believe it is more about being transparent, being very open and, you know, letting the person, you know, speak when it comes to a particular subject. Right. I think it’s more about transparency and having open communication rather than having an interview. To be honest, this is what I learn from my experience. Initially, I used to have more of an interviewer, kind of an approach, getting on a call and asking questions and then, you know, once all the questions are done, you disconnect, you know? So I think I learned, right, somehow the connection is not happening. You know, the kind of the kind of inputs that I’m expecting, I’m not getting those inputs. So that’s how I change my approach, right? I try not to follow a strict, you know, a discussion guide, kind of an approach and usually, you know, go with the flow guide, what the person is more comfortable talking, what he or she is more interested and, you know, sharing their experiences. So I usually, you know, go with the flow, right? And once I started, you know, doing all this right, I learned that it is a better approach to do that because the quality of insights was much more powerful and we could all relate, you know, some of those insights with the quantitative survey data that we have got, if they are increasing their spend on a particular technology, why they are doing it. And that’s why when you get into the conversation, you realize, you know, in order to make that investment successful, there are so many qualitative insights, qualitative issues that organizations need to address. And that’s a beauty of having, you know, these kind of conversations. So to me, I think it’s more about transparency and having an open conversation rather than just an interview.

Bill Sherman So one of the things that I wind up looking for is the spark in the eyes from the person that I’m speaking with. Right. You can tell the smile, you can tell the engagement, you can tell the presence. And I think one of the ways that you can do that is through evoking curiosity, that they want to know. They want to hear what you have to say as well as they want to be heard. Does that resonate for you or is that what comes to your mind?

Manish Bahl No, it does. It does, in fact. Right. Because when I get on these calls, then obviously they agreed to spend 30 minutes with me. Right. Obviously, they must have something in their mind as well. You know what exactly this guy’s going to talk about, you know, kind of quotient that is going to last. Will I get something on record or not? So I prefer to have this gift to, you know, get kind of a racial started in the beginning. So, right. I’m here taking your 30 minutes of your precious time, you know, and then you’re done. You’ll be getting all these sort of inputs from my side because I but you know, with that I do services company, I work as an analyst, and I’ve been interacting a lot with other C-level executives. So there’s a lot, you know, you can learn from, you know, the kind of conversations I keep having with others, you know, with your peers in the industry. And they get it immediately. You know, once you start the conversation by having this gift, you get kind of a racial starting in the beginning, you know, in the beginning of the conversation, which I feel that’s really powerful, right? Because you get their attention that, yes, there is something for me as well. I’m not just to give information and my thoughts on a particular subject.

Bill Sherman So how do you define thought leadership? I want to talk about leadership with you. And I think you’ve got a little bit different perspective. So let’s start with definitions and then spar back and forth a little bit.

Manish Bahl Yes. To me, I think that leadership in all should not only reveal how, but also why. And then tourists, you know, thought that I should, because I’ve been attracting a lot of, you know, CMO’s, you know, across organizations. Right. And I believe one of the biggest challenges in the industry right now, which is so unfortunate, is thought leadership is very much data driven. So you are going to conduct surveys with X number of, you know, six sales and you will publish those results. But ultimately, what is really missing is what is actually behind those data points. And that’s where the curiosity factor is extremely important to get into the life activity. So why, you know, people are saying what they are saying at the end of the day. So by being curious, you know, we begin to understand data rather than just interpreting it. And that is something which I believe is extremely missing right now when it comes to partnership. And that’s what I think companies need to spend more time, money, resources and everything to ensure they get maximum from their investments. When it comes to you, don’t talk to a chef because at the end, you know, a popular chef. It’s not just, you know, cutting across your one point of view. You know, it is it has so many dimensions. But ultimately, what is really missing in the industry, the way I look at it is the human insights piece in the top leadership.

Bill Sherman So thought leadership for me is something that is messy. It doesn’t have clean edges. It asks questions where people may go. Huh? Never thought about it that way. Right. And one of the things that I see certainly there, when you put ideas out in the world, there are some people who will respond to hard metrics and data, and that’s exactly where they gravitate to. But I’d say 50, at least 60% of the people that you put an idea in front of. They’re looking for a story, an example, a quote, something that helps contextualize even if it’s a case study. What is this insight? What does it mean? And if you can’t answer that and all you’re giving is raw data, you’re losing a large chunk of your audience. And that doesn’t matter whether it’s C-level executives who have the best B-school degrees or, you know, you’re talking in B2C, consumer packaged goods. Right. People still need to connect with the idea. And only a small percentage of people connect through data.

Manish Bahl Absolutely right. Because I sell my first data, curates and size, you know, one of my first clients, the CMO, obviously, I can’t name the company or the CMO name, but my initial conversation with the CMO, you know, when I proposed this idea, you guys quite a big organization, but still you do not have any thought leadership, you know, presence right in the market. And that’s where I can help you. I can help you create some compelling, you know, some powerful thought leadership narratives that is going to help you stand out in the market. And, you know, his initial reaction was, okay, what do you have to sell? To me, it’s like, okay, fine. This is one idea, right? Where I believe it would make a lot of difference to the organization. Right? And when you are going to take this idea to the market, then obviously you will be differentiated, and we can help you do that. And then when he actually heard, you know, this particular idea, you know, he’s like, wow, this is really nice. I didn’t know that we can do so much. So all I’m saying is thought leadership. I think it’s a responsibility to a large extent, you know, for people like you and me to educate, you know, these people how thought leadership can help them create a competitive differentiation in the market. Partly that’s just not it’s not about, you know, putting a blog or a content piece out and assuming that you are a part of the industry, it is much more than that. What is a story that you have to share? What is the story that your employees have to share? What is the story that your customers have to share? So I think bringing all these pieces together, it really helps. And that’s where I think, you know, organizations need, especially leaders in the marketing space, they need much more guidance and, you know, understanding what exactly the partnership needs because everybody is really thought leadership in his or her own ways.

Bill Sherman If you are enjoying this episode of Leveraging Thought Leadership, please make sure to subscribe. If you’d like to help spread the word about the podcast, please leave a five-star review and share it with your friends. We are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major platforms as well as at LeveragingThoughtLeadership.com.

Bill Sherman Well. And you can do a lot of great research. You can have a great insight and bury it in a white paper on page 35 and almost guarantee that zero percentage of your target audience will ever see what was created. Right. And so to use your point, how do you take that insight, the one that people will say wow, and put it into the hands of your sales team, into your customer success team, so that people hear this, understand this, and they say, what if we could do this? How would it change our day, our company, our clients? Right. That’s that aha moment that you’re trying to trigger, and you have to do it through, well, quite simply, a little bit of bait. You’ve got to get people excited and to use your word, curious, because if they’re not curious, it’s not going to happen. They’re not going to dig and try to make sense of your brilliant insight. If it feels like a tax return.

Manish Bahl Yeah, absolutely. No, you’re right, Bill. Right. But when it comes to curiosity, you know, we can we can, you know, debate for hours, you know, what exactly curiosity means and how to make readers curious.

Bill Sherman That’s a different episode. But yes, I think.

Manish Bahl Absolutely, absolutely. But to me, I think the. If you have got something fresh, something bold, something differentiated, something that I haven’t read so far, I think it’s going to bring sort of a curiosity factor, you know, as a reader to look at or rather to read more about the stuff that you are publishing, to be honest. Right. And that’s where when it comes to providing partnership support to our clients, you know, we are very much focused on creating a differentiated fact, not tried to follow what is already being published in the market, because people these days, they have a very short attention span. And if you’re content, especially the first five or ten lines are not them are not compelling enough and obviously nobody’s going to pay attention. So leadership, I think it’s more about having the stories, get the stories right and out in the market because people love stories. At the end of the day, we are humans, right? And humans love stories. And that’s why I think people miss the point. They are more interested in entertaining, you know, the Google SEO engine when it comes to their blogs or their partnership. They are more interested in ensuring that Google is going to rank our particular blog piece, you know, rather than trying to create content that is going to help the, you know, humans at the end of the day. So I think the be thought leadership should be meant for humans and not for a lot of times.

Bill Sherman Well, and so you talk about Google and the algorithm, right. And I would argue that a lot of the best thought leadership when you publish it isn’t already a search term. So people aren’t looking for the idea if it’s truly thought leadership. Right. Because it’s the next thing. Now, six months or a year later or two or three years later, all of a sudden, there may be a million results for that. But when you start with thought leadership and you have a new perspective on something, it’s probably a sleepy corner of the Internet. And so you’ve got to be willing to let go of the algorithm and instead say, I’m going to reach people. I’m going to narrow cast this idea to a specific group of people, and I’m going to make this relatable to them. I’m going to tell them stories. I’m going to catch their attention. And like you said, the first few sentences, we do it all the time, whether we’re swiping on our phone through a through a feed or something, one or two sentences in where we know whether we’re in and click more or we’re out. Right.

Manish Bahl Absolutely. And what really bothers me, to be honest, you know, if you look at these, you know, experienced ride marketing people spend decades, you know, in the industry, many times we have to decline, you know, depressed. And, you know, these companies or marketing, as you know, reach out to us. We want to leverage you want to create some good, compelling in a bold content, but we want to make sure that it is CEO friendly, you know, at the end of the day. So we end up sort of declining, you know, their request, right? Because we don’t write promises at all. Okay. We write for you. If you really want to leverage it, fine. If you don’t, I don’t think that we have a good match, you know, at the end of the day. So I think this this whole notion of that your blog is or your article or your content is going to rank on the high side. You know, when it comes to, you know, Google algorithm, it doesn’t make any sense to me, to be honest. Right? At the end of the day, you should be able to get your message out that powerful stories, whether the got it, likes it or not, it doesn’t matter if people like it. Obviously, the algorithm is going to follow the trend and will automatically promote, you know, the content that you have got. So you need to target humans and not machines when it comes to popular show.

Bill Sherman And if you target the right audience, the people who are influencers, the people who will spark conversations within their organization or within a professional community, then you get a cascade effect and a multiplier effect, because one of the things that you cannot do in my mind is you cannot take an idea to scale on your own. Whether you’re a single individual or you’re one organization, you’ve got to have other people that lean in and say, Yeah, that’s a good idea. I’m going to talk about it to.

Manish Bahl And that’s why I think, you know, the freshness, the boldness, you know, these aspects really matter when it comes to the top leadership. You know, what is the fresh idea that you are going to put across? Is it just like, you know, hybrid cloud is the future or artificial intelligence is going to take, you know, take over many of the jobs in the future? So what is the fresh idea that you are trying to bring in to talk about how AI and automation is going to create new jobs in the future as well? So one of those new jobs that will exist in the future, can you try to visualize, you know, those new jobs that don’t exist today? Can you share your perspectives on those new jobs? So what I’m saying is, you know, something which is going to be fresh, bold and unique is it’s sure to get attention from your audience. There is no doubt about it.

Bill Sherman So I love this concept on Bold, right? And I think it’s a great piece. I think back to when I was in my undergraduate, I studied theater and I had an acting professor who said no one ever goes to the theater to watch. People just sort of stumbled through their lines. They go to the theater because they want to see the seven deadly sins put on stage. Right. And so whatever it is you’re bringing to the stage, amp it up and take the pride in that. And I think that’s the same for thought leadership in some ways as well, if you put too many weasel words, might be, could be, maybe potentially all of a sudden there is no content. And whatever good idea you had is buried below, you know, layers of weasel words.

Manish Bahl No, absolutely. I completely agree. And I really like, you know, the way you put it, you know, every partnership these right. Is like going to the stage and performing, you know. Yes. And you don’t know whether, you know, people are going to like it or not, but you are going to give you a best. And how exactly you are going to give your best is to make sure that you are giving something which is going to be, you know, fresh, unique and something different. Right. That something that people haven’t seen, you know, in the in the past. And the same thing goes with popular shape. You know, I love this concept of, you know, putting your partner. I shared this analogy it off popular-ship being treated same as, you know, an actor. You know, an artist, just, you know, going to the stage. Right. So definitely I think it makes a lot of sense. And when you do it, the stakes are high, to be honest. And it’s not just like, you know, spending your marketing budget and getting some content out, you know, and have a big box ride in your truck at the end of the day. And it’s more about creating something which is which is something unique and you are really passionate about at the end of the day. So I think at the same time, you know, talk to the ship because personally speaking, you know, I have been very, very passionate about thought leadership. Right. This is what I did, you know, when I was wed in my previous role. Right. Because one of the ideas was this major. So I spent a lot of time being to ship. I’m been very passionate about it because I know if I’m passionate about it, something good is going to come out, you know, at the end of the day. And I think that passion is also, to a large extent is missing when it comes to talking to ship. It is more of a theory, you know, kind of a thing, you know, just write the checkbox in a done in your portfolio and move to the next item.

Bill Sherman Well, and I think it’s fair to say that your audience will never be more passionate about your ideas than you are. Right. And so if you’re like, well, here’s my white paper or we did this study. Guess what? Nobody’s going to want to read that. Whereas if you’re saying this is a way that this technology leads to more jobs, higher profitability, etc.. And people are like, oh, my gosh, they are on fire. And almost to that edge of will they ever shut up about it? Right. There’s that one step below being just a little bit obnoxious about the idea. That is, I think, where you spark energy and life.

Manish Bahl Yeah, absolutely. No, I completely agree. Right. Because at the end of the day. Right, you are going to connect with the people right through the top leadership. And ultimately at the end of the day. Right. What is the content? What is the story, you know, that you have to share? And is that story is going to bring the, you know, sort of three? It could also be, you know, and then people then definitely they’ll be more interested in learning and reading more about the stuff that you are doing.

Bill Sherman So as we begin to wrap up, I have a couple questions for you. The first one is for organizations that are thinking about rethinking how they do research. What advice would you give them to include that human aspect and that curiosity into that big research study that they’re thinking about but haven’t pulled the trigger on?

Manish Bahl Yeah. That’s a that’s a that’s a good question. Right. So as a standard practice, you know, what they do at various insights is when clients reach out to us, right. Telling us that we want to do a five-minute interview with CXOs across industries, across regions we tell them will be happy to do that. But the why are you restricting yourself to just, you know, these surveys on top of those 500 interviews, you can also conduct get to 2530 qualitative insights and those inside sites they can bring the difference to your research at the end of the day because data will tell you how and you know what exactly organizations are doing and how they plan to do it and the qualitative insights, you know, it’s going to create, you know, data revealed by fact. And that’s why you need both. At the end of the day, many times, you know, clients agree and sometimes they don’t, which is absolutely fine. But our advice to clients is, you know, don’t just collect survey data, gather human insights as well, because you need both to get a 360-degree view of your audience. Survey data is good, there’s no doubt about it. But qualitative, human insights, meaningful. And then you blend the two. You know, the magic happens and that’s where you get the real insights, what you’re looking for and not just your numbers at the end of the day.

Bill Sherman And then my final question. You’ve been practicing thought leadership and you’ve alluded to it through this conversation for many years. Back with some of the i.t. Analyst firms as taking out positions and learning as you go. My question for you, since you’ve been in thought leadership as long as you have, what do you wish you knew earlier and what advice would you have given your younger self?

Manish Bahl That’s a tough one. So I would say definitely, you know, as an analyst, right. Obviously you are more focused right then getting the details, what exactly companies are doing, what exactly organizations are doing, getting those you know, those quantitative insights. Right. But I wish what I could have learned, you know, earlier. Right. And then my career was more about focusing on, you know, the human insights aspect. Right? Because as an analyst, as an I.T. services firm, you don’t focus on these things. They’re not at all. They are more focused on data. You’re more focused on, you know, what’s happening in these organizations, how much you are spending on large, and what is your expectation on auto eye and all that kind of stuff. But when you get into details, right from a qualitative aspect, you know, you realize that there is there is so much to learn from these organizations. There are so many nuances that exist in organizations that you can’t quantify, you know, based on the survey data, based on your quantitative driven discussions as well, you have to boil one level down to understand, you know, what’s happening in these organizations. So I think I wish if I had learned more about this human insights aspect earlier in my career, I would have been at a different place. But still, obviously, we all are learning and I’m happy that I established humans inside because our passion is to humanize, you know, research at the end of the day, analysts, firms, or organizations. And we help them do that by blending data with qualitative human insights. So that is the key takeaway. You know, when we when we talk about, you know, how exactly we can make research much more baffling what companies.

Bill Sherman Fantastic. Thank you for taking time today, Manish.

Manish Bahl Thanks, Bill. Thanks for having me. It was a wonderful discussion.

Bill Sherman If you’re interested in organizational thought leadership, then I invite you to subscribe to the OrgTL newsletter. Each month we talk about the people who create, curate and deploy thought leadership on behalf of their organizations. Go to the website. OrgTL.com and choose. Join our newsletter. I’ll leave a link to the website as well as my LinkedIn profile in the show notes. Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing what you thought of the show.



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