How Business Research Fits with Career Development

Often, simply focusing on your daily work leaves you without the skills and knowledge you need in other areas to advance your career.  At many companies, training budgets have been cut (or never existed), while many business jobs now involve dealing with more change and variety than ever before.  To help people deal with these challenges, a whole constellation of personal development approaches has sprung up, including conferences, self-directed study, and online classes.  I have a bias, but I think ongoing business research is a great tool as well. Continue reading How Business Research Fits with Career Development

Do Your Boss's Job

While the primary focus of this blog is business research and analysis, I’ll also be spending some time on adjacent topics like managing your career in marketing, strategy, management consulting, and related fields.  Over the last ten years in consulting, I’ve given and received a lot of performance reviews and feedback.  One theme that has held true is the importance of trying to do your boss’s job.

Level of abstraction

Let’s take your typical consulting organization as an example;  you have analysts, associates, managers, and partners, although the exact titles might vary.  Each role roughly corresponds to a different level of abstraction:  data, information, conclusions, and recommendations.  Analysts crunch numbers and do interviews, associates put together different analyses to get broader insights, managers put those insights into an overall context and draw conclusions about the client’s business (as well as managing projects), and partners decide on the most important recommendations based on those conclusions and the client’s situation.  This hierarchy certainly isn’t set in stone, but it’s a useful way to think about things. Continue reading Do Your Boss’s Job