Last week, after having returned from two weeks on campus at the magical Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC, I spent a good part of this week applying the on-campus learning. This was done in refining my Capstone Proposal for an engaged, action-oriented research project with a client’s organization along with the related Ethics Review application. While these documents are initial drafts that will go through future iterations, the intention, purpose and structure are in place. That’s exciting!

In my journey through the Masters of Arts in Leadership program at Royal Roads University, I am learning cutting-edge ways of doing research and creating organizational results from a more thorough analysis than I would have in the past. I am also learning what it takes to prepare – I mean really prepare – for doing engaged, action-oriented research in a live setting. This is all relevant to my work with clients and enhances the way in which I approach organizational change initiatives.

Why would you want to do such ‘research’ in your organization? If you want to understand your people, their experiences, what drives them, what holds them back, what can support them to be more accountable, productive, creative, and innovative, it pays to do this foundational work to understand what is going on for them from an educated perspective. The engaged, action-oriented research itself creates change and sets up subsequent change for success.

When you understand the human element of your business you are in a much better position to drive your business successfully. As Brené Brown shared, while we like to think we are logical beings that are sometimes emotional, we are actually emotional beings who are sometimes logical. We need to understand our people from this perspective rather than purely from a quantitative, numbers-oriented perspective. According to Saldana and Omasta (2018), for matters of social inquiry – the type of inquiry done in organizations – where consultant-researchers “wish to understand the human condition deeply, words and images rather than numbers could be more-revealing forms for collecting and analyzing” what is occurring. “Qualitative inquiry acknowledges the importance of human expression and its revelatory insight into life” (Saldana & Omasta, 2018). Qualitative research provides a rich way for examining the human condition from all its facets rather than reducing human elements to numbers alone.

What about your team are you curious about? What would a deeper understanding mean for you and your organization? What would be possible from that deeper understanding?

Yours in curiosity,