The podcast for corporate Insight leaders
Feb. 16, 2023

Episode 24: Shaping Insight stories

Episode 24: Shaping Insight stories

When the Insight forums first met, the prevailing thinking was that analysis and research projects should be conducted and then written up as if they were scientific experiments.

Market research reports in particular would start with a reference to the brief that had been received; then talk about the methodology selected; the research activity carried out; the data collated and tables of findings. And finally, if you were lucky, some observations and conclusions.

This was a very logical way of approaching the task, but it’s a very passive way of communicating. If we start with the brief and methodology, rather than business recommendations, it’s also likely to reinforce stakeholders’ perception that an Insight team is a reactive service function.

In this 16-minute episode, James looks at how progressive Insight teams can drive change by using the SCQAB structure. It’s great for framing projects at the start and shaping the story along the way.

Please listen to find out more!

Topics Discussed

  • Adapting the Pyramid Principle (0.43)
  • Situation, Complication, Question, Answer and Benefit (4.10)
  • Shape the comm’s throughout the project (6.03)
  • The Insight communication grid (8.35)
  • T-shaped communication (12.50)


  • “A progressive Insight team wouldn’t want to focus on research briefs but on the underlying business issue. Nor would it want to prioritise methodology when communicating to decision-makers; methodology is strictly an internal issue for the Insight team to sort out, and only merits a mention in an appendix when communicating to senior managers.” 
  • “When Insight teams work in this way, the structure of our story evolves as we complete our investigation. It isn’t something that we ‘write up’ at the end of our project, it’s an integral part of the project itself”
  • “Whether we’re having a conversation with someone, a video call, making a presentation or having a chat over a drink in a pub, we usually have a finite amount of time. So there’s a trade-off we all make, usually without thinking about it, between breadth and depth”

This is episode 24 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 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.


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

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