About this time I presented JTBD findings and nothing changed

This is the story of how I learned that getting* customer insights out of a JTBD research project and mobilizing* insights across the org are two completely different initiatives.

A few years ago I ran a JTBD study, identified the job stories, & shared the output with the CEO who hired me.

"I love this! Present it in all hands." I did, & everyone there seemed to "love" it, too. Emojis in the Zoom chat, DMs after. The works.

And then... nothing happened. After that project presentation, few people consulted the recordings, the transcripts, or the artifacts. The research didn't make its way into other decision-making centers outside of the ones I was already in.

Why did seemingly excited people do nothing with what they learned? Well a better question might be, what did I want them to do differently? And how did I help my colleagues make those changes?

Early on I hoped that saying, "Hey here's the report" would precipitate:

  • Replacing much of what was on the roadmap with new opportunities
  • Getting access to data and sharing it across teams
  • Re-orging team structure around the customer journey

None of this happened and little changed because saying, "Here's a report, now go do stuff," won't get an entire org to build a customer-led mindset overnight.

If we do research for people who have not worked with research before, if we present insights without guiding our colleagues on what to do with those insights, if we give teammates the tool of qualitative data but not the support to understand and apply it, we can expect the outcome to be limited, the insights to stay sequestered in someone's hard drive.

Using insights to build a customer-led culture doesn't happen with research alone - it happens by re-orienting away from mobilizing _the insights_ and instead mobilizing *the team* to believe in and use the insights as a guiding strategy for decision-making. And that is a change strategy project altogether different from research.