Measurement Matters

– writing a book about the value of communication and engagement research

Archive for January, 2010

What’s wrong with internal research?

Posted by susanewalker on January 31, 2010

Two well known figures in the communication field have focused on some of the failures of current people research. Mike Klein of Intersection, a Brussels based strategic communicator suggests that much research asks the wrong questions – or those looking for favourable responses. Brand consultant and experienced internal communicator Sean Trainor believes there are two main issues: no correlation with business results and also poor communication throughout the process.

After many years in the comms and HR research  field I agree that these happen in too many organisations. Probably due to problems such as those Mike and Simon suggest, I have found the biggest hurdle is developing effective action plans that actually make a difference to the organisation. 

Anybody out there with any other thoughts about what is wrong with internal research? I’m hoping in my book to focus on how such research can be more effective and become a real part of business planning and shake some pre (mis) conceptions…let me know!


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What do they say about statistics?

Posted by susanewalker on January 28, 2010

Statistics seem to have a bad name – and when getting on to the topic when I am giving research training a glazed expression seems to come over people’s faces. Perhaps it is my technique! I am certainly not a statistician myself so possibly my explanations lack clarity. Anyway, I am now on to this section of the book…people have said that comms and HR people are right brained thus their lack of interest in statistics. So I am trying to make sense of the subject for readers…parts do seem to become very complicated – it is hard to keep a balance between too much and too little information. But the basic message is that if stats are not taken into account the information from the data can be misleading. Hope this important point gets through!

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Data or discussion?

Posted by susanewalker on January 26, 2010

Now on to the qualitative section. The original working title of the book referred to “measurement” so the softer side like focus group discussions may not seem relevant. However I believe that – although not producing hard figues or data – qual is also an important part of measurement. It is needed to understand some of the findings from a questionnaire – what did they mean by…? what examples do they have? can they explain why? Or indeed as a stand alone research project?

I am also struggling with the amount of detail to include. For  example, I have found if somebody is seated somewhat apart from the group (lower chair, end of the table) they find it more difficult to participate in the discussion. But this may seem a small point – to include or not? Comments welcome! As are any issues or problems people have found when conducting focus groups or interviews…

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Making a start…

Posted by susanewalker on January 24, 2010

Measurement does matter – that is why I have started this blog about the book I am writing focusing on communication, engagement and change research. The idea is to cover the basics – the “how to” carry out internal research but also look at the strategy: “why” such research is conducted and “what” it can contribute to business success. The book is due for publication this Autumn and the first draft due at the publishers at the end of January. I have made a good start but as I continue other ideas emerge and I make contact with others for great conversations and case studies. So the final draft looks some way off – I must confess to the publisher!

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