As the Pharma and Biotech industry layoffs continue (40,000 this year alone according to the WSJ) and fewer people are left to do more work, I was pondering about consciousness and awareness last night and how they might impact insights.
Sometimes taking time out from the hurly burly of meetings and just stopping to think of absolutely nothing can allow those deep thoughts and ideas to bubble up more freely. Insights from customers, patients and consumers can help us understand both the market and the needs for a product, but only if we stop and reflect on things as a whole rather than looking at individual pieces in isolation. Otherwise analysis paralysis will ensue or wrong conclusions made based on incomplete data.
Source: H. Koppdelaney via Flickr
A client recently asked me how we create big picture ideas from nothing and come up with strategic trends in the disease landscape.
The answer isn't a simple one, but often, with the volume of reading we do every day across a huge variety of topics things get hidden deep down in memory and may not be immediately obvious at first. This is also true if you want to mine a database for information, you have to know what you are looking for to start with in order to see the wood from the trees.
For me, I find my best ideas and heightened levels of awareness come from being back to nature while out walking and thinking about absolutely nothing. Once you have some ideas, you can test them based on the data available and see if relevant trends emerge. This also applies to other related areas such as market surveillance and market research – it's all very well having a big pile of interview transcripts, but you still have to put the story back together in a logical, coherent way that makes sense.
Sometimes, other peripheral things can also trigger new ideas in your consciousness too. This process can take place over several weeks as a picture emerges from the chaotic jumble, rather like a child puts a painstakingly puts a jigsaw together. Out of emptiness comes greater awareness, perception and fresh ideas.
How do you put yourself in touch with your own consciousness and awareness? Do you generate insights differently?