Winston Churchill once said this: Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.
Well, after much drafting The High Performance Customer Insight Professional is now available on Amazon and the agonising process of having to eventually release the book knowing there are no more opportunities to tweak and refine has happened.
The book started life with my increasing realisation that to be a high performance customer insight professional there were three core skills that now needed to be mastered.
There was the skill of going beyond simply being a data analyst to being a sensemaker able to make sense of complex multiple evidence sources and bring them together into an integrated whole to see the big business picture.
The second skillset was around being able to construct powerful compelling narratives that would convey the insight message.
The third key skillset was being able to turn insights into action by having the ability to influence key stakeholders, overcome any resistances to insight driven change and to have the consultative positioning to seize business opportunities and future proof organisations.
Once the importance of these three key skillsets had crystallised in my mind then the next challenge was how to bring together these skillsets into one book and present it in a step by step, actionable guide that could be easily followed by newcomers to the industry.
The breakthrough in the construction of the book was being able to borrow from Edward de Bono’s observation – so brilliantly expressed in his book Six Thinking Hats – that complex tasks, such as sensemaking, storytelling and consultancy, for training purposes, need to be broken down into different elements.
So, this triggered my thinking around developing Seven Analysis Frames to explain the sensemaking process and providing Seven Story Tools that allow people to become great storytellers. Then I constructed a toolkit of Consultancy Strategies to deal with any resistance to the insight message, together with a range of high performance habits.
I look forward to receiving your feedback.
DVL Smith’s new book The High Performance Customer Insight Professional: How to make sense of the evidence, build the story and turn insights into action is out now, available on Amazon UK and Amazon US in paperback and Kindle formats.