• Narrative Research’s Top 10 List

    This post originally appeared on the Cognitive Edge blog on July 24, 2012.

    top10_list It’s about time we have a top ten list about narrative research. This is in the spirit of David Letterman, a late night talk show host here in the U.S.

    10. Narrative research doesn’t eliminate leadership errors – you can have great insights, but you still need to act on them – remember safe-to-fail!

    9. Narrative research means you can and should still leverage social data. What else is being said out there that could give you more insights?

    8. Narrative research requires new tools and technology (SenseMaker) – and don’t forget the “art” of this!

    7. Narrative research requires new skills in your workforce. Viewing patterns; not jumping to conclusions (aka seeing the gorilla); safe-to-fail projects; etc.

    6. With narrative research you can run, but you can’t hide. (you can ignore or dismiss what the data says, but don’t! Embrace this and get on with it.)

    5. Narrative research doesn’t always get it quite right. (no silver bullets, test things out, it is a complex world!)

    4. Narrative research is the path to competitive advantage (whatever competitive advantage means in your world-view – better education, better widgets, healthier population)

    3. Narrative research is bigger than the Cloud of Unknowing.

    2. Narrative research is transforming organizations and industries — or so we hope!

    1. Narrative research is transforming lives!


    I confess I stole this list from a speech given by Bill Cook, the President of GreenPlum (part of IBM) whose focus is on BIG DATA, not Narrative Research. Much of it did seem like it could apply. I thank Graeme Mackay for pointing me in that direction. Looking at Big Data and Information Analytics as an analogy to what we are doing could be an instructive tool.

    The original video of Bill Cook is available on YouTube (11:39 minutes long).

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