What we've learned.

There’s now a good people research company.

Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by the story we tell ourselves about the world.  I’ve come in recent years to call this inner story a “Guiding Narrative®.”  Most of the work I do as a researcher and advisor to organizations revolves around this idea — that at all times an inner, largely subconscious, Guiding Narrative informs us as people how the world works and how to survive in it and therefore directs our behavior as we navigate through daily experience.

This concept led me some years ago to form a company called Metro Tribal (metrotribal.com), a research and communications practice focused on storytelling and how certain stories we tell our customers, employees, friends and community members connect with their personal Guiding Narratives, and thereby build trust and connection between us and them. More recently, I’ve witnessed that Guiding Narrative insight has practical value well beyond storytelling — it informs all aspects of the kind of social and market research we attempt in order to help our organizations to become more competitive and provide value to customers and employees.

Today, while Metro Tribal will continue to exist with a specialized focus on storytelling, I’m pleased to announce the launch of The Good People Research Company, a human-centered research and advisory firm guided by two principles:

  1. People are not data. They are sentient beings that base their behavior on beliefs, values, social norms and emotions that guide them toward survival; and
  2. Whether you’re a company, NGO, nonprofit, professional association, or government entity, you’ll matter to customers, employees, and community members if you enable them to validate and amplify their values.

In sum, becoming important to customers and employees is about far more than finding out what they browse for, buy, prefer, or appear to need and designing your products or services accordingly. Becoming important to people is about supporting their values and aspirations, the mechanisms they use to ensure their survival.

We can help you understand whether your organization matters to people important to you — customers, employees, partners, the public — and why.  You’ll gain that insight when you take a human-centered approach to studying these groups first, and analyze peripheral information (e.g., survey data, browsing and purchase data, CRM, CDP, A/B testing), second. In fact, the type of information you collect on individuals at any time – formally or informally – should be driven by your understanding of their Guiding Narrative and the values that narrative produces. We offer researchtraining, and speaking services to help you make this essential transformation if you’re a company or organization of any type.

We invite you to read through our new site – goodpeopleresearch.com. Explore the entire “What we’ve learned” section to find out more about why we insist on conducting human-centered social and market research in a world the seems to be rushing in the opposite direction.

Craig Honick