Solve a Problem Here, Transform a Strategy There: Research as an Occasion for Expanding Organizational Possibility

Researchers use our work to drive organizational action, by closing knowledge gaps, clarifying user needs, or identifying opportunities. But the extent of that action is often limited. We frequently want our research to be about strategy, but that’s not how organizations usually work. Our stakeholders want tactical research on tight timelines. By contrast, Peter highlights a different, and distinctive, approach to making strategic impact: considering research as a form of “robust action,” work that solves specific problems while visibly expanding the organization’s field of future possibility. Peter gives examples of work he’s done in this fashion at Intel, Autodesk, and Airtable, and provides some guiding principles to help make our work more valuable.