At Wordnerds, there are many things we’re sure about. The way you use language is perfect, teams require mutual respect, Teenage Fanclub are underrated - we have strong opinions about all kinds of things. But our strongest opinion is - A CEO should be best friends with their Insights Team.
At Wordnerds, there are many things we’re sure about. The way you use language is perfect, teams require mutual respect, Teenage Fanclub are underrated - we have strong opinions about all kinds of things.
But our strongest opinion is - A CEO should be best friends with their Insights Team.
If you’re in insights, and you’re not full-on besties with the top brass where you work, you’re doing them and your organisation a significant disservice. Never mind what it could do for your career: you owe it to your organisation to befriend the powers that be.
So these are the key things you need to do in order to make your mark with your CEO.
Know what they care about (Hint: They tell you)
When trying to befriend anybody, it’s a good idea to understand their interests. And in that regard, boardrooms are way easier than social gatherings, playgrounds, dating apps and wherever people make friends these days. Every large organisation has a set of stated objectives, and this list is what your CEO is being judged on.
You want to make friends? Memorise that list.
Here are a few examples of some of the stated goals of large organisations:
Coca Cola: craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body & spirit
Shell: To sustain a strong societal licence to operate and make a positive contribution to society through our activities
Tesco: No one tries harder for customers
Notice anything about these objectives? We’ll come back to that.
Give them numbers
Prepare for a truly enormous generalisation. You don’t get to be the CEO of an organisation without being really, really into numbers. Numbers are the lifeblood of literally any business - especially the big red-or-black number at the bottom of the balance sheet.
Unless your last name is Trump, you get to the top of an organisation by achieving your objectives and knowing your numbers.
So what's the problem? Big company objectives can’t be measured in numbers.
Look at the examples above again. Coca Cola? The general opinion of the population of the world. Shell? Permission from the entirety of society. Tesco? Not only a qualitative statement, but one that compares them with literally every other brand.
So they work in numbers, they’re judged in numbers, and their objectives are borderline impossible to qualify.
Knowledge is power (for them)
All this means one thing. If you can find a way to take qualitative outcomes, and prove them with quantitative data, then you are going to be your CEO’s new BFF.
And the best place to measure qualitative outcomes is text. Unlike quant surveys, analysing text allows your stakeholders to express themselves in any way they want, in an unbiased way. And if you can turn that gloriously qualitative data into something numerical, something you can track over time and measure against competition, you have squared your bosses’ most troublesome circle.
You might have guessed this was where we were going. But it’s true. If you want to become your CEO’s best friend, invest in a really good text analysis platform.
And play them some Teenage Fanclub. Goes without saying.
Wordnerds: Making CEOs and insights teams fall crazy in love.
But, if you’re making decisions based on the insights surfaced in your data, and those findings are the victim of a ravenous pre-lunch tagging episode - can you be sure you’re making the right recommendations?