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MRX Lab Podcast

Exploring new & novel conversations from the fringes of the insights industry.

Episode #2 - The Joy of Innovation & Importance of Novelty

In the second episode of the MRX Lab podcast, we take a look at the fun, messiness and novelty that should accompany innovation. Because, today, innovation is weighed down by management structures, pipelines and investment strategies – often reducing it to little more than a line item on a financial report.

Stuff enough ideas in one end, and new ways of working, products or services will emerge from the other. That’s the theory at least. But that strips out some of the most valuable, human elements; something that researchers are well positioned to fit back in.


After a brief introduction to the chequered history of innovation (which is pretty surprising to say the least), we dive into the practices in place today that innovation is often bound to. We'll take a look at what a typical pipeline looks like and identify the stages where market research can add particular value. The episode touches on the notion that innovation should be designed in a way that is distinctly not fun. And there's merit to the idea. While filling the funnel with ideas can be exciting, the theory follows that the hard work required to take ideas to completion means that most run out of steam long before they see the light of day.

But, to me, that doesn't mean the joy should be sucked out of innovation altogether. It just means that firms should seek ways to keep staff engaged with the full pipeline from start to end. And that's an area that researchers have particular expertise in. Between managing participant engagement and stakeholder engagement; keeping audiences motivated with research activities is not new ground. Throughout the episode, I'll share some of the ways that we can adapt current research skills to suit innovation pipelines and inject more fun into a process that seeks to manage & cap creativity.

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