What Good is Being Rotten on the Inside?
I saw a play at the Galway Theatre Festival this week ‘What Good Is Looking Well When You’re Rotten On The Inside?’ by Emma O’Grady. It was a play ‘in development’ put together by the theatre maker herself and based on the writings and recordings of her late grandfather Paddy O’Grady.
Paddy O’Grady was an interesting man – full of character, full of words. He wrote four plays during his long life. He also recorded 14 cassette tapes of stories about his life, one month before he passed away. Nothing was ever released for public consumption.
The aim of the play was twofold: Firstly, it was a tribute from a granddaughter who seemed to have much loved and admired her grandfather, his way with words and his ability to tell a story. Secondly, it was a warning to anybody in the process of putting talent to waste – as she witnessed her grandfather had done.
There’s a scene in the play where Emma shouts something like ‘why should I be the one doing this work? What were you doing your whole life? You HAD TIME! Why am I being the midwife to your words, getting my hands bloody and dirty, to bring them to life? Why didn’t you do what you were supposed to do?’
The play made one think. Sometimes, we make excuses. Excuses for not doing what we know we are meant to be doing in life. We say we’re too busy. We’re scared of failure. We don’t advance as souls, as ‘whole’ people. We think it won’t work out so we don’t bother trying. The years pass by, and opportunities befall us. One day we realise, we never lived the life we were meant to live. Our chance has passed – just like Emma’s grandfather.
Interesting. But how does this relate to my business?
Brands and organisations are like people too. They have their own fears, their own shoulds, shouldn’ts, coulds and mustn’ts. Sometimes, businesses, organisations, groups, councils and governing bodies of all types fail to take the leaps that are indicated for them. They do not move forwards, because they are not sure that moving forwards will work.
Sometimes, when organisations consider investing in research to determine how to move forwards, the investment can seem too risky. There is no way of seeing what the research will bring. What if there’s no return? What if the research does not reveal anything new? What if the feedback is negative? What if it says we shouldn’t be in business at all?!!
As people, we have no magic wand for ourselves. Some people are never sure what it is they want to do with their lives. They don’t know what they were ‘born to do.’ Some end up seeking psychics and tarot card readers to give them a helping hand. At the end of the day, as a human being, it’s only you who cares if you’re living your purpose.
Businesses are different. There are many people involved in the success of a business. There are many people who care.
And there IS a magic wand.
Establishing what needs to blossom, develop and grow within an organisation is the job of its members – and the magic wand that enables this is research.
Why invest in a magic wand?
A thorough qualitative research design will always tell you something new. Thinking around and defining your objectives in a clear way will ensure that you have the right questions. Having the right questions means that you will get answers that will be actionable and constructive.
Qualitative Research can tell you where you can win, and where you may lose. It can tell you more about your actual and/or potential customer base – not from the results of yes/no answers to questions asked through robotic-sounding surveys made on Google, but by interpreting real emotional responses from the people who matter.
Ready to blossom from the inside?
If you would like to discuss a research brief – whether that’s to think around the most constructive research questions, to know the best methodology to use, or to analyse something you have already discovered and make it actionable, please do get in touch. I would love to hear from you.