Channel 4 asked us to conduct a high-level strategic insight project, accessing our network of key influencers in business – FTSE 100 c-suite and decision makers.

And, as with most projects these days, it had to be turned around fast.

The subject matter and findings of the study are strictly confidential. However, there is much to be learned from reflecting on our approach and engagement with participants in this project.

Having spent years nurturing our network of key opinion leaders in business, we were able to activate and recruit almost instantaneously. It also meant that the project was intrinsically interesting to the people involved; a pivotal insight from our Participant Charter.

It was also important to engage with these participants as co-researchers, breaking down any potential hierarchy or barriers between interviewer and interviewee. This meant that our co-researchers often went ‘meta’, reflecting quite consciously on their own mental processes.

Researchers and participants alike thoroughly enjoyed the research process, and it showed.

After almost every interview, our key opinion leaders shared with us their enjoyment in participating, with frequent comments on how much they had learned from our conversation. And we were rewarded with articulate, rich and friendly conversations (some of which flowed on for hours), as well as a happy client. How lucky are we to call this work!