Monday, May 10, 2010

5 Excuses People Give For Not Using Research!

I probably should have addressed these before launching into the last two blogs on how to benchmark community image.  Here are some reasons I’ve heard most often over the years and the realities behind them.anec

1. I was hired for my knowledge, opinions, intuition and instincts!  Once in a position of authority or decision making, many people fall into the trap of believing these attributes are how and why they got there.  Informing their “opinions” or “knowledge,” let alone intuition is viewed as a sign of weakness.  They also get testy if asked to “explain” their opinions or viewpoints.


2. It’s enough to survey what my friends think and say! People who use this excuse are most likely afraid and a bit incestuous.  They fear that research findings will reveal that they and their friends might be clueless or heaven forbid, wrong.  They value popularity over improvement.


3. I don’t know what to do with research after the results are back! People who use this excuse are typically “list checkers” or lazy.  They aren’t likely to be inquisitive by nature or to ask “why” very much.  Progress to them is what happens as you rush down the list.


4. I’m afraid research will complicate things!  People who use this excuse are usually afraid of change and fear new information will require them to think beyond their comfort zone or make adjustments.  They are also a bit lazy and see themselves more as caretakers than change agents.  They lack a bias for growth and improvement so the status quo becomes their goal.


5. I have members of my governing board who don’t understand or believe  research is important!  People who use the four excuses above can also be appointed to boards of directors.  No surprise then, when they have little patience for the organization to be information-driven.  It also isn’t likely they listen much, or read preparation materials.  Of course, that would be too much like doing research.

Of course, research can also become an excuse when someone uses it to cloak  indecisiveness or fear of making a mistake or becomes enamored with the information at the expense of deploying it.  But those with the we excuses for not using research greatly outnumber those who misuse it.

If you or your DMO doesn’t have resources to “conduct” research, there still is no excuse for them not to buy into coop research or to seek and use secondary research from those who do.

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