Beyond Black Belt and the Art of Continuous Improvement

First Degree Black BeltAfter 12 weeks of grueling work, I recently tested and was awarded my first degree black belt in Kenpo Karate. My sensei likes to remind us that becoming a black belt is just another step in the journey and continuing on is just as important as achieving that initial milestone.

“Continuous Improvement” isn’t just a buzz phrase in Martial Arts, it’s a mantra. No matter how experienced you are there is always something you can improve–whether it’s your stances (toe/heel alignment!), your blocks and punches, or learning a new form. I feel I have vastly improved from where I was 15 months ago when I first earned my black belt,  and I am excited to keep up my journey–even though my next advancement is at least two years away.

How does this relate to the world of Market Research? If we #MRX practitioners do not continuously improve and innovate, new technologies and ‘paradigm shifts’ will overtake us and we will be left behind. The days of yearly tracking studies, asking respondents to think about their past purchases, and clients who rely on us to do all their market research are fading away. DIY surveys, communities, polls, real-time transactional data (#bigdata) are all here NOW. We can either embrace them and learn how to harness them, or we can be left by the wayside.

Like continuously improving in Kenpo, I plan to keep updating and practicing new market research methods.


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