The podcast for corporate Insight leaders
Oct. 27, 2022

Episode 16: Seek first to understand

Episode 16: Seek first to understand

What question do you get asked most often at work?

Is it about what insights we have on our customers? Or about the latest insights on our brand? Or perhaps on the latest consumer trend?

Every organisation has its own hot topics, and every Insight team could compile a list of their most frequently asked questions.
But how often do we ask ourselves about the insight which we have on the audience for our own work – the senior decision-makers in our organisation?

We all tell our organisations to spend more time really understanding customers. How well do Insight teams practice what we preach?

In this episode, James is joined by Lisa Dutton, Senior Adviser at the IMA, and an expert on influencing skills.

Lisa provides her top tips for choosing which stakeholders we should influence, understanding what it feels like to do their role, and the importance of understanding individuals’ communication preferences.

Please listen to our podcast if you have the ambition to transform your Insight team!

Topics Discussed

  • Taking time out to think about our internal audience (2.17)
  • Are our communication preferences the same as theirs? (4.13)
  • A question of translation (5.32)
  • Choosing who we should influence (7.27)
  • Having empathy and not being intimidated (9.50)


  • “Just like a company needs to understand its external customers if it’s going to influence their behaviour, so our Insight teams need to understand our internal customers if we’re going to influence their decisions.”
  • “There are often pronounced differences between analysts and researchers within teams, and between both these groups and the marketing teams and wider organisations in which they work. All these types have strengths and weaknesses, and they tend to be compounded when the departments in which we work have a structural bias towards people who are quite like us.”
  • “We need to be very deliberate when we think about who we would like to influence, and once we have got those people in mind, it’s then about understanding what it’s like to be in their world.”
  • “We can be guilty of seeing ourselves as service providers and being quite intimidated by our stakeholders.”

This is episode 16 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, and regularly hosts the IMA’s Insight forums - London, Manchester, UK Online and US Online.

The Insight Management Academy is the world’s leading authority on transforming Insight teams.


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

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


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

All rights reserved