Empowering and Informing The Leaders – How Boards Used Our Experience and Expertise

August 28, 2015, by , in Blog, no comments

“So what’d you do this summer?”

This summer I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to a number of major Boards for a variety of industries. These included a national retail chain, a large healthcare organization, and one of the oldest higher education institutions in the US. All were very interesting and different experiences and I thought others could learn from things I observed and things I was asked. Feedback is constantly evolving our knowledge base with every project, helping us look back and ahead as Behavioral Futurists.

I was brought in, on all occasions, to help shine a light on something in particular these boards were interested in…

  • In one case I was presenting the results of a Feedback study of an entire state – showcasing the behavioral trends and thoughts toward both a general industry and specifically the ways that residents of that state tended to interact, engage, congregate online, and make certain purchasing decisions.
  • In another it was to take a deeper look at the current Best Practices in audience engagement while also reflecting on the recent history and likelihood of longevity for New Trends in social behavior.
  • And in yet another it was to be a sounding board for the online behavior of males – in what we have seen motivate engagement, trends, and how they respond cross-generation with other males.

But I also learned something from each Board I spoke to – namely:

  • Slow and steady is not only a legitimate speed, it might actually be a smarter one; in an era where being slow to change is routinely criticized (and often rightly so) there is still value in being careful, if for no other reason than to ensure you don’t lose crucial resources chasing every shiny object. Plus, being careful includes putting your ear to the ground…
  • We can’t operate in a vacuum anymore – if we ever could. Research and listening is becoming an increasingly important element of everything an institution does – whether the reason is an acknowledgement that the control of the message is out of their hands or an understanding that a turned ear can be increasingly valuable, it’s clear that not listening is considered increasingly dangerous.
  • More and more companies are dealing with the generational soup that the online world has created. It’s one thing when clearly defined targets are acting separately, but what happens when generations have lasting effects on one another? When buying habits, affinity groups, and even some of life’s biggest decisions include consultation with demographics that previously didn’t have an influence?

With more presentations on the docket for this year, there are sure to be more lessons and learnings to come. If anyone is interested in having Feedback come talk to, advise, or moderate a discussion with your organization, send an email to: dean at feedbackagency dot com.

by: Dean Browell, PhD – Executive Vice President