We had the good fortune of connecting with Katrina Noelle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katrina, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
The decision my team and I make every day; the decision to stay curious.
Curiosity, flexibility, open-mindedness, a willingness to stay on the path of learning, experimentation – and even stumbling and failing along the way – are fundamental to maintaining a beginner’s mindset. And it’s that mindset that helps experts retain a position of leadership and mastery in their chosen fields.
We have a robust client feedback loop to make sure we’re always listening for how we’re helping the brands we serve and what we can do to improve. I present a small business workshop “No Customer Left Behind” on how any organization – big or small – can (and should) include customer insights in their workflow. I stress the importance of being curious about how you’re serving your customers and what more/better/different you could be doing to surprise and delight them. That makes you vulnerable to, let’s say, ‘constructive feedback.’ But you need to be open to hearing it. You need to be genuinely curious about what they have to say – and feedback you get from your team and partners – to iterate, innovate and improve.
We also work to stay curious about each other. What is everyone on the team’s goals, intentions and resolutions? What can we do to help, mentor and support them?
At KNow Research, we hope our clients find value not only in our abilities and expertise as researchers, but also for our commitment to incorporating The Beginner’s Mindset in our work. And, we encourage even our most senior and experienced clients and partners to adopt this mindset as well!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I opened the doors of KNow Research in 2003 with energy, determination and focus towards the goal of consistently delivering quality insights. Over the years, that goal has driven the expansion of the agency with a continued focus on methodological innovation. We support insights managers and marketing teams in retail, financial services and any organization looking to open new doors by helping them keep key qualitative insights in the mix. We’ve had our fair share of challenges to overcome over those years, mostly stemming from the constant need to grow and innovate. When I started the company I had no idea how much of my world would become technologically-based, but we’ve risen to the task along the way, choosing partners to guide us and developing our own methodologies and technologies.
We are always looking for the next, best way to meet our clients’ needs and project objectives. Over the past eight months, our team has worked hard to design, build, test, and now make standard our very own virtual observation backroom, or VBR as we like to call it, for synchronous qualitative studies.
In a sea of high-priced, over-complicated qualitative research viewing platforms, our objective going into the project was to create a seamless and safe experience that would work regardless of VPNs, firewalls, browsers, and devices.
Our goal is to provide a space that feels collaborative and friendly, mimicking an interactive client lounge experience on our virtual platform. The KNow VBR allows project teams to truly “talk amongst themselves” and iterate during fieldwork, and to communicate follow-up questions and probes to the moderator or facilitator.
In 2020, in-person research methodologies were put on hold due to the pandemic. We took the opportunity to iterate a digital/virtual version of our Booth® Insights methodology. We’re proud to have pioneered an innovative and successful way to intercept and connect with consumers digitally while social distancing during the current climate.
We broke new ground by inviting participants into a virtual pop-up to meet with our moderators, who facilitate quick qualitative conversations on a specific topic of interest. Sessions are engaging, dynamic, to the point, but with an element of surprise as the sessions are less scripted than traditional research methods. It’s as much fun for the moderators as it is for the participants!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many contributors to our success! But this year we have really been supported, encouraged and inspired by our coach at https://www.cultureconscious.work/. We have been working through their Three Centered Leadership program and I’ve been doing individual leadership coaching through them and they’ve made our team connected, integrated and communicative in new way that’s been crucial to our success.
Twitter: @kat_noelle and @NewsfromKNow