If you’ve attended any of our Quirk’s events in recent years, either virtual or in-person, or consumed any of our content, you’re probably familiar with the work of James Wycherley and the U.K.-based Insight Management Academy (IMA). 

We’ve been happy to partner with Wycherley and the IMA as we share their goal of elevating the corporate insights function. The articles he has written and Quirk’s Event sessions in which he interviews client-side insights leaders are always popular. (I recapped two such chats in a recent issue of our e-newsletter, Listening in to conversations with interesting research.)

Following a decade in insights at Barclays Bank, Wycherley became the IMA’s chief executive in 2015 and took up the organization’s mission of helping client-side researchers gather together to learn, benchmark and strategize ways to improve their organizations’ research functions. As a natural extension of the work he and the IMA have been doing, Wycherley has written a book, Transforming Insight, in which he compiles the “42 secrets” of successful corporate insight teams.

The book is organized in five sections – identifying value; driving change; leading insight; optimizing impact; and moving forward – consisting of concise but substantive chapters. Some topics – like how to develop a plan for the future of the research function within your organization or how to write your function’s mission statement – could warrant many more pages than they are given here but Wycherley does a great job of giving anyone contemplating such major undertakings a solid foundation of questions to ponder at the outset and guideposts to use along the way.

It’s an admirably realistic and aware book that shows an understanding of the current, sometimes messy realities of the modern insights function while also striving for attainable future efficiencies rather than the only-in-a-perfect-world goals that many business ...