Think Fast Service and Operations Leadership

Insight and Action

While leafing through an IDC brief this morning I noticed a couple of references to an “insight team” and an “action team.”  The insight is gathered from analyzing information on trends or other interesting points, such as profitability by customer, profitability by product, revenue retention, etc.  The action team executes on projects and activities prioritized to attack issues and opportunities identified with the “insight.”  It struck me as a useful way of organizing a team or a quick collaboration along the lines of first getting the factual data together, agreeing on the call to action, and then putting a plan together for practical and constructive application.

 There is a great new book by Ric Merrifield entitled Rethink:  A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation where he makes a similar breakdown in business process analysis that he simply refers to the “what” and the “how.”  Ric has also authored or co-authored articles in the Harvard Business Review on this and similar topics.

It seems apparent to me that this breakdown of what and how naturally occurs because there is a distinctly different skillset required for each activity.  The analytical data miner may not be the best get-it-done person, and the action oriented doer is lost without fact-based priorities.  I can think of people I know of each type and it is difficult for me to come up with a person who can do both really well.

Is it reasonable to structure a team this way?  Is this just over thinking it?

If you have used this approach or if you think it is silly I would love to hear from you.




May 14, 2009 Posted by | Service and Operations | 4 Comments