How to Get Management to Pay Attention to Your Research Results

August 8, 2014
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We’ve all been there. You’ve written a grand survey, conducted an amazing series of focus groups, pulled all the data together into a fabulous report, and now management won’t give you the time of day.

The solution is simple. Well, perhaps not that simple, but certainly worthwhile. Much of the time, it comes down to making it easy and that’s what we’re going to do here.

We’ve all been there. You’ve written a grand survey, conducted an amazing series of focus groups, pulled all the data together into a fabulous report, and now management won’t give you the time of day.

The solution is simple. Well, perhaps not that simple, but certainly worthwhile. Much of the time, it comes down to making it easy and that’s what we’re going to do here.

1) Choose one key point. Research reports are often filled to the brim with fascinating datapoints and a number of interesting insights. But no one other than you has the time to give all of this data the thorough review it deserves. However, YOU know which key point will have the largest impact on the business – increase sales the most, increase customer satisfaction the most, reduce churn the most.

2) Provide the solution. You found the key point which means you probably also know the solution. Take the initiative to think through all the possible solutions. Which ones would cost more or less? Which ones would require a smaller or greater headcount? Which ones would take more or less time? Identify the two or three best possible solutions and layout out their key points.

3) Provide the action. Figure out how you personally can follow through on the solution. Can you identify the key players? Who would be the best project lead? Are YOU the best project lead? What key players are missing and need to be identified? What resources need to be set aside?

4) Ask for 15 minutes of their time. Instead of a full hour or half hour, ask for just 15 minutes. Even the busiest of managers can find 15 minutes to carefully think about something. At this point, now that you’ve laid out exactly what needs to happen, you really don’t need to ask for an hour. You’ve already done all the pre-work and the management team only needs to confirm that they are satisfied with your pre-work.  Of course, you may have done such a great job with all of your pre-work that they do want to spend an hour with you. Wouldn’t that be grand!