Disruptive Innovation: A Research Industry Award That Rewards Everyone?

NGMR Disruptive Finalists Announced
By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

As a mix of social science and commercial enterprise, consumer research tends to innovate cautiously in order to maintain methodological rigor and preserve normative data.

But with the advent of the Internet and a torrent of turns since, the industry has learned quickly ‘ and in cases painfully ‘ that we can no longer afford to dictate the pace of change.

To adapt and thrive, researchers have to an extent been compelled to forgo temperance and embrace disruption. No easy task, but one that IMHO is critical to survival in an age when change is an accelerating constant.

So in addition to the venerable EXPLOR awards ‘ which through a case study competition recognize the most innovative applications in research ‘ The Market Research Event this year is hosting a new award celebrating research industry change agents that make us uncomfortable for our own good.

Leading online networking group Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) will be presenting their 1st annual NGMR Disruptive Innovator awards at TMRE Nov 9th.

The nominations have been collected and vetted by NGMR’s Advisory Board, and divided into three categories: Individual, Agency and Client.

NGMR’s founder and chairman, Tom H. C. Anderson, told me the response has been overwhelming, and that based on the volume of nominations received per category, finalists have been narrowed down to 15, 10 and 5, respectively.

I’ve got the sealed envelope, and today I’m pleased to share the finalists by category (alphabetically):

INDIVIDUAL (15)
Peter Corbett, iStrategy
Tom De Ruyck, InSites Consulting
Jeffrey Henning, Vovici
Diane Hessan, Communispace
AJ Johnson, Ipsos, and Sean Conry, Techneos
Joy Liuzzo, InsightExpress
Kevin Lonnie, KL Communications
Kristin Luck, Decipher
Bernie Malinoff, element54
Linda Mauro, Illume Market Research
Dr. Ros Picard, Affectiva
Jon Puleston, GMI
Steve Schwartz, Microsoft
Kelly Styring, Insightfarm

AGENCY (10)
Affectiva
Clear-Ideas.com
Communispace
Converseon
EmSense
iModerate
Infosurv
Nielsen Media Research
RapLeaf
Tealeaf

CLIENT (5)
Facebook
LinkedIn
McDonald’s
Microsoft
3M

Why is disruptive innovation so important to research that it warrants an award?

I asked Sony Ericsson Global Insights Manager Gordon Morris, who serves on NGMR’s advisory board.

Here’s what he had to say:

‘The market research industry is, by nature, introverted, intellectual and risk averse. It is not given to exploring new techniques, but instead revises and refines existing techniques in an attempt to innovate. These are subtle, evolutionary increments, not the groundbreaking paradigm shifts other industries pursue,’ said Morris.

Morris added, ‘In an industry often lacking genuine innovation, it’s important that we recognize and celebrate those among us who achieve such shifts. In so doing we inspire the dreamers among us to find the next one.’

Like anything else, I suppose example leads and practice makes perfect’