Archive for March, 2014

The Organized Executive

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by doyle

From the desk of Kathy Doyle

I recently attended a seminar titled “The Organized Executive” by Bruce Breier of BHB Consulting. He pointed out that there is a difference between being Productive (getting lots of things done) and being Effective (getting the right things done). Which are you?

The key to being Effective is setting your Top Three Priorities at the beginning of each day, and making sure they are completed before you end your day. Combine this with workday bookends of 30-60 minutes each.

Morning Start-Up:

  • get your office set up and ready for work.
  • check your email and VM.   Don’t respond at this point, just do a scan to see what will need to be dealt with.  Delete if not needed.
  • Set your TOP THREE PRIORITIES for the day.   What absolutely has to get done?   This will help you focus throughout the day.
  • Prepare for any meetings scheduled for the day.
  • Respond to emails.

Daily Wrap Up:

  • Download new tasks, and file and purge emails.
  • Review your top three priorities and complete anything that is not done.
  • Email correspondence.
  • Check your Sent Items folder, to make sure you’ve heard from everyone you need to hear from.
  • Electronic delegation of any tasks others need to get done — let them know what you want, and when you want it.  Be specific.

Throughout your day, learn to minimize interruptions.  If someone knocks on your door, or a call comes in, before immediately responding ask yourself “Is this interruption crucial right now?”.  If it is not, do not answer the phone, and ask the visitor to come back later, at a time that is better for you.    Do these simple things and  you will be well on your way to being more effective.

That’s actually how I’ve gotten this blog post written on time. It works!

IHUTnographies: Blurred lines without the twerking

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by doyle

From the desk of Chris Efken

When I worked on the quant side of the business, I often conducted IHUTs that left me with more questions than answers. Perhaps it was my inner two-year-old voice reverting to the days of asking “Why? Why? Why?” of every key measurable that crossed my path. Perhaps it was my deep-seated yearning to become a qualitative researcher! Or, maybe it was simply that the data from standard structured quantitative questions didn’t yield the insights desired to truly help my marketing partners in enhancing and modifying a soon-to-launch product. All too often, I found myself needing an additional phase of research.

To address this need, the researchers at Doyle developed IHUTnographies. We blurred the lines of traditional quantitative IHUTs with ethnographic and observational research to help our clients maximize the learnings needed to improve products, packaging, and shelf placement. IHUTnographies are observational product-usage interviews, using webcams and/or video uploads, that allow us to tease out the insights needed to optimize products. By observing the IHUTs, we can…


          • See how the product is actually being used to identify whether the directions are clear, and that the product performs as expected
          • Identify and explore product problems and how consumers create work-around solutions to aid in product refinement and optimization
          • Capture the verbal and non-verbal reaction to the product. By seeing the actual reaction to the product and not simply collecting the reported reaction, clients can better gauge the intensity or degree to which an issue is a true barrier to purchase.

IHUTnographies are one way we have blurred the quant/qual lines. I challenge my clients and colleagues to share ways in which you too have methodologically blurred the lines (with or without twerking).

The Oscars: Better Safe Than Sorry

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by doyle

The Oscars: Better Safe Than Sorry

From the desk of Alice Morgan, Doyle Research’s Oscar Prognosticator

oscar image photo






The Big Picture

Hosting the Oscars is a thankless job.  This year the Academy Awards Powers That Be concluded that benign is better than belligerent.  So they asked Ellen to host.  I think they made the right call.   Here’s why.

The Host

Ellen is amiable, good-natured, and universally beloved.  She turned the Academy Awards into a giant version of her talk show by mixing with the A-listers in the front row, most of whom gamely played along.   It was a bit forced, (Handing out pizzas!  Tweeting selfies!) but it was also sort of fun, certainly better than listening to Seth MacFarlane sing “We Saw Your Boobs.”

The Speeches

Although it is obnoxious to “play out” overly long speeches, it is also obnoxious to force the audience to listen to, well, overly long speeches.  I kept thinking the ceremony should have been shorter.  There was no opening production number, the introductions to the Academy Award nominees for Best Pictures were done in batches, and there wasn’t even a lifetime achievement montage.  Despite this, the ceremony dragged and ended at midnight ET, as usual.  All the actors who won had prepared speeches, thank goodness.  Cate Blanchett’s rocked – good for her for taking on the studios’ “earth is flat” belief that women-driven films don’t make money.  Catching Fire was the top-grossing movie of the year, people!  (Hooray for J-Law!)  And Darlene Love of 20 Feet From Stardom brought down the house when she sang – hooray for backup singers!   Lupita Nyong’o looked amazing, and her speech was perfect.  Really.  See for yourself.

The Production Numbers

Speaking of singing, the production numbers were surprisingly good.  Loved “Happy” – a joyous, fun, well choreographed number that made me happy by just watching it.  The Wizard of Oz tribute in which Pink sang “Over the Rainbow” was beautifully done.  And Idina Menzel’s performance of “Let it Go” was stirring and strong.

The Clothes

Every year, Charlize Theron kills it.  Although she would look good wearing a paper bag, her dress was no paper bag.  She gets my vote for best dressed.  Nearly all the dresses were good.  Sandra Bullock, Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett, Amy Adams and Kate Hudson looked great.   Although Anna Kendrick’s see-through red and mesh waist panel didn’t work, points to her for taking a risk.  Nowadays dresses are safe and stylist-approved.

How To Improve the Ceremony

There are many ways to improve the Oscars, but I will focus on two.  The first is to shorten the ceremony by paring the number of categories given out during the telecast.  Given that technical people comprise a considerable chunk of the Academy’s 6,000 voters, that is not going to happen.  The biggest problem with the Academy Awards is that there are no surprises anymore.  I correctly predicted 20 out of 24 nominations.  I am not an insider, just your basic movie fan who reads Entertainment Weekly.   The Oscars are easy to handicap because they air after all the other awards shows.  Want to spice up the Oscars?  Televise them in January, before the Golden Globes, SAGs, et. al.  Be the leader, not the laggard.   I don’t think this will happen anytime soon since the Academy and the movie industry in general is notoriously risk-averse.

So How Were the Oscars This Year?

With a likeable host, stylist-approved fashions, and predictable winners, the Oscars were, in a word, safe.  We saw a couple of moments of genuine emotion amidst the long slog to Best Picture.  There was nothing risky, nothing edgy; it was all very careful.  Over and out, until next year!