Here’s my behind-the-scenes look at what happens to your organization’s research when gatekeepers pass your instructions down the information ladder and later, when they pass your results back up.
Sure it’s funny – except it’s not. Every time instructions are passed down the information ladder, gatekeepers change them. Each time this happens, the instructions wander farther from your original directive. The instructions that finally arrive at the researchers’ desks are never exactly what you specified. Each of your gatekeepers altered them, much like you found out when you were a kid playing the parlor game you might have called Party Line or Gossip or Chinese Whispers.
When research gets passed back up the information ladder, gatekeepers monkey around with it. They choose what they want to show their bosses, hiding some things, distorting others, and sometimes deliberately fabricating. After all, they’re not going to get caught, because you never see the instructions they gave to your researchers, nor do you see the results of the study itself. What little research you are shown is only a cherrypicked slide or two inside a marketing presentation.
The hard-earned lesson from the front lines is this: gatekeepers tamper with your research every time they touch it.
- How many gatekeepers do your instructions pass through?
- How many gatekeepers handle your research and what have they done to it?
- When was the last time you asked an outsider to assay the value of your information?
Ask me about how I can quickly and inexpensively help you find why your information isn’t as helpful as you need it to be and what you can do about it. Here’s my number: 800-652-7595. My email is email@example.com.