Words to the wise - See others

Consider the ‘so what’ and the ‘now what’

As researchers who want to make a difference, it’s our goal/duty to turn the knowledge we collect into insights that will inspire action at our clients. We can only do this if we are actively thinking about the ramifications our findings have for the client’s business (the ‘so what’) and the steps they need to take as a consequence (the ‘now what’). It isn’t sufficient just to describe what the results are saying, we have to put ourselves in our client’s shoes and ask the question ‘in their position based on all I know about the state of the business (not just the current findings) what would be the course(s) of action I would recommend to stakeholders and what’s best way of convincing these stakeholders?’.

It may be a little daunting early on in your career to venture beyond the descriptive, but it’s never too early to practice getting into this mindset. Talk to your manager about creating situations where you have the time and guidance to really think about the ‘so what’ and the ‘now what’ that emanate from the research programs you work on. It’s a skill you’ll develop and hone over time, so the sooner we can give you the opportunities the better. Oh, and this doesn’t just apply to external clients – you will find you’re a lot more persuasive in internal meetings if you adopt the same ‘so what, now what’ way of thinking.

“Critical thinking and curiosity are the key to creativity”

Amala Akkineni, Actress