The false promise of actionable insight

Abby Margolis, Director of Research at Claro Partners, has become worried that consultants risk becoming a ring of human insight traffickers, rather than the researchers, designers and business problem solvers they strive to be.

“They often treat insight like a possession to be bought and sold. They trade in insight, exploit it, promise to deliver it, and ask it to do labour beyond what it can actually do. Take the latest insight specialty: Actionable Insights. This particular high-grade variety seems to suggest that insight alone can act. Here’s the thing: it can’t.

Many years of innovation work have shown me that insights are not enough. In fact, they are fairly worthless on their own. Insights have little intrinsic value without being transformed into frameworks and narratives that can drive strategic action.”

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