Why Insights?

Insights are the liminal space between questions and answers. They’re the key to exceptional strategy.

Questions are good. You need people around who ask good questions. Insights are where the transformation action happens. Questions lead us there.

We tend to think of questions as leading to answers. And yes, sometimes they do. But the best questions lead to insights. And sure, those insights can then steer you to the answers and solutions that serve the moment and the context, but insights often demand a little space of their own before they point the way.

Kate leading a United Nations panel
Kate leading a panel on using emerging technology to fight climate change at UN COP25 Climate Change Summit in Madrid, 2019
Kate O'Neill at DevLearn
Answers are mostly short-term patches anyway

They’re often Band-Aids on execution that no longer meets the moment. Everywhere that you’re currently facing transformation was a place where an answer used to be correct.

But insights can lead you to new answers

The insight that led you to that answer is likely still true. It just may not be enough.

Chances are you have to go back, ask new questions, see whether they lead you to new insights, and then let the insights guide you to the answers you need now.

Insights sometimes feel obvious when you stumble on them

That’s one way you know they’re true. They’re often a little ambiguous, but they also contain a degree of profundity that you can return to again and again.

Don't hurry past insights

Moments of truth sometimes hit us when they’re not convenient. It takes discipline not to scurry away, but rather to recognize them, examine them, and look for innovation. That takes a rigorous thinking process — we’d even call it a new way to think.

“She really made us think, but also gave us concrete takeaways we could use in our business.”

Former Client

People will feel a connection with things that are thoughtfully designed

This insight may sound trite, but it’s part of what has made Apple a $3-trillion dollar business and made their products such a necessity for hundreds of millions of people. But the products themselves — the answers to the questions, so to speak — have had to change and evolve with the aesthetic of the moment. You might even argue that they often set the aesthetic of the moment.

Good insights tend to be timeless

Answers that serve the moment are bound to change over time, but good insights tend to be timeless.

And how do you get to good insights?

You start with meaningful questions that often have multiple, contradictory answers, and then look closely at the tension between the partial answers. Tension is often a sign that something true is hiding in plain sight.

We help organizations develop an insightful (and what we call “foresightful”) approach to data-rich experience strategy so that it is successful for the organization and more meaningful for the people who use their products and services.

It’s a process. It can be learned. We can help.

Kate O'Neill at Mind the Product London
That’s the real value KO Insights offers

We go deep on the questions to come up with the insights that matter. And those insights pay off for our clients.