The podcast for corporate Insight leaders
July 8, 2022

Episode 10: The evolution to Insight farming

Episode 10: The evolution to Insight farming

In this 15-minute episode, James looks at how great Insight teams investigate business issues.

Insights are contextualised observations about markets, consumers, and customers that have the potential to change how an organisation acts and achieves success.

Insight could be defined as the accumulated, big picture knowledge which is created by joining up many individual insights.

If our Insight teams are responsible for both, we need to transform the way we plan our time, allocate resources and measure success.

We need to move away from a world where we spend all our days hunting for new insights because wise Insight teams know that Insight farming is more valuable to their organisations and more sustainable for the team itself. 

Topics Discussed

  • Do senior people care about individual insights? (1.52)
  • What sets the most effective teams apart? (3.58)
  • Cutting out duplication and responding in an agile way (6.25)
  • Farming is more valuable (9.34)
  • The importance of process (11.40)


  • “Insight projects tend to be planned bottom-up: we look back on our work each year and see a collection of projects undertaken to support different decisions made by different stakeholders, not one comprehensive piece of work to which the individual pieces of research and analysis have contributed.”
  • “The vast majority of our Insight specialists’ time is spent working on new investigations, so when senior people ask us to explain the big picture, we often have to think on our feet, and there’s every chance that our colleagues would come up with a different answer.”
  • “Putting all our focus into new projects means that we never have time to reflect on all the things that we already know, make connections we hadn’t spotted, investigate contradictions, and come up with a comprehensive view of our customers, our markets, and our organisations.”
  • “Just like real farming, Insight farming requires patience, hard work, the ability to change Insight professionals’ ways of working and then stick to a plan. Effecting this sort of behaviour change in our teams is not easy, which is probably why the IMA’s benchmarking scores reveal that most Insight leaders consider their teams to be considerably better at generating new insights than at cultivating and harvesting accumulated insight.”

This is episode 10 of the Transforming Insight podcast. 

If you have the ambition to transform your Insight team and the role it plays in your organisation, please tune in to future episodes. Not only will we explore the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams as outlined in the Transforming Insight book, we will also talk to senior corporate Insight leaders, delve into books that have inspired us, and discuss new best practice research carried out with the IMA’s corporate members.

You won’t want to miss this! So please hit subscribe - and thank you for listening. 

About James Wycherley, the author of Transforming Insight

James Wycherley was Director of Customer Insight and Analytics at Barclays from 2005 to 2015 when he became Chief Executive of the Insight Management Academy (IMA). A popular keynote speaker and acknowledged expert on Insight leadership, strategy, and communication, he is the author of the book Transforming Insight: the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams, and over 35 IMA publications. He has provided thought leadership in the UK, Western Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, India, and the Middle East. Over the last five years, over 20,000 Insight professionals worldwide have received his 5 Minute Insight emails.


If you would like more information on any of the ideas discussed in this episode of the Transforming Insight podcast, please

Copies of James Wycherley’s book Transforming Insight: the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams can be purchased direct


The Transforming Insight podcast is published by the Insight Management Academy and produced by Zorbiant.

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