FEATURE1 February 2010

If there’s one thing I've learnt... Lenard Goedeke

The best advice I’ve had was… when my father said to me at the age of twelve that I should continue playing and enjoying life as long as possible.

The worst advice I’ve had was… I was asked to delegate more work and responsibility without having any grasp on the necessary capacity – both in terms of quality and quantity.

Don’t overestimate… the value of benchmarks from historical databases. Whenever possible, think about the added benefit of single-source approaches. Your analysis and conclusions show much more insights, become robust and are a better source for predicting actual behaviour.

Don’t underestimate… the increasing necessity of showing the value of your work. Wherever possible connect your work to return on marketing investment – show the money your research work earns.

If I hadn’t been a researcher… I would have loved to become a professional footballer, but if I’m honest, I think a lawyer would have been more likely.

One moment in my career I’ll never forget is… when I arrived with my boss at the client site and we realised that we hadn’t brought a copy of our charts (this was in pre-digital times). We had to talk for two hours with no pictures and maybe not surprisingly, it worked very well.

You must read… The Trusted Adviser by Maister, Green and Galford. It tells you a lot of simple and pragmatic things about performance and serving clients in a way that makes them not only like you but trust you. Rather than just working with you, they start co-operating and partnering with you.

Young researchers should… listen. It is nothing less than essential for success and a really satisfying professional career. Meanwhile, old researchers must pave the way for the young researchers. Education is an investment issue.

If this industry could only… start to be a bit more confident. This implies taking its advisory and consultancy role beyond data delivery a bit more wholeheartedly. Different structures and business models as well as sometimes additional and different profiles who want to work at eye level may be necessary.

One day I hope to… successfully balance my family happiness with the fun of entrepreneurship – while also finding some time to feed my academic ambitions.