Triangulation: Validating Research and Strategy

One of the central problems we run into when discussing research finds, particularly when we’re using those finding to give strategic direction, is having the research’s validity called into question. I’ve talked over the years a fair amount about the idea of triangulation, but I’ve rarely summed up what it means. Here’s my take in […]

Shades of Blue: Marrying Art and Science

When chemists at Oregon State University discovered a brilliant new blue pigment serendipitously, they were not thinking about creating art. But in a true art meets science moment, an applied visual arts major bean using the blue pigments in her artwork as part of an internship in Subramanian’s laboratory. This was also her first foray into the world […]

Bless the Weirdo: Creativity and Innovation in Advertising

Peculiar is good, don’t let anyone tell you anything different. Having a skewed take on the world isn’t what you always want or need, but it is important to have free thinkers, dreamers, and mad geniuses in the company mix if you want to break though the play-it-safe realities of most businesses. Back in the […]

Co-Creation and Managing What Matters

Co-creation has become a central theme for brands and innovators over the last decade, and rightfully so. The idea of collaboration in a postmodern world where information and opinions reach millions in the blink of an eye is a necessity. But what do we mean when we talk about co-creation and is it the panacea […]

Taking to the Field: Client Collaboration

Perhaps naively, many ethnographers assumed that we would work in a vacuum when they learned their trade. We’d go into the field – people’s homes, workplaces, and leisure areas – and then report to clients what we learned. However, we soon realize that some clients take us literally when we state ethnography will bring them […]

What Does Narrative Convey?

Narrative is a word much used today.  Whether we’re talking about story telling or something more meaningful, it is a potentially marvelous tool, but what do we mean by it and what are the concerns we need to think through when thinking about it?  Narrative, as it is used here and as I’ve written before, […]

Doing Rapid Ethnography

The hallmark of ethnographic research is field work done in natural settings, where it can yield a broad picture and provide a more complete context of activity. But, ethnography can, at times, scare our clients.  Because of this depth, it is often seen as slow, expensive and inclined to produce more information than can easily […]

Strategy and Culture Change Inside the Agency

In a world with consolidation of client budgets, agencies must begin to target the projects and clients that will allow them to flex not only their creative muscles, but also demonstrate their strategic prowess.  This business and economic climate results in organizations increasing their focus on cost reduction at all levels. This most definitely includes […]