Seven deadly sins averted by social research consultants in Sydney

Sydney earned the nickname of Sin City in the second part of the 20th Century, as Sydney’s underbelly of organised crime was spread throughout the inner city.  So it seems appropriate to consider how social research consultants can help their clients avoid falling into the trap of the seven deadly sins in the ways in which they work, particularly if they have been in their job or sector for a long time.

Sin #1- Pride

There is a danger that if you have been working in a sector or job for a long time that you know best, that the value you create in offering your service, running your gallery or cultural venue is so obvious that you don’t need to test it.  It is the responsibility of social research consultants in Sydney to encourage you to test your assumptions and to convince you to have the humility to suggest you may be wrong.  You will be one who benefits if something unexpected is revealed that will enlighten you on how to improve your service or offering.

Sin #2- Envy

Do you sometimes hear your colleagues say you can’t do any of that because you don’t have the resources the other department has, or the facilities of the venue on the other side of town.  No doubt you would have thought at some stage you wish you had the resources they do so you could deliver a similar high standard of service, or provide those visitor facilities.  If you don’t have their level of resources you can still start to do what others are doing.  Don’t use the excuse ‘if only we were as well resourced as another organisation’.  Even on a modest budget there may be something you can do.  Talk to us and we may be able to advise.

Sin #3- Gluttony

Don’t try to do too much, resulting in achieving little. There is a tendency to do more than you need to do, which can result in servicing nobody well, let alone your key client base.  This doesn’t mean it is not worth working hard and dreaming big.  It is more about thinking carefully about your priorities as a government department, service provider or cultural venue, identifying your key client or visitor group and how you can best service them.

 Sin #4- Greed

Do you ever wish you could have all of the funding so that your program, service, or initiative could continue?  This is a laudable wish, but sometimes the social research process will reveal a network of other people and organisations operating around you that you can leverage off. You may all be able to benefit by being part of a good network. Working in collaboration with other organisations is likely to open up a range of new possibilities, particularly when you can share contacts and access to stakeholders and clients.

Sin #5- Sloth

As human being, we can have a tendency to continue doing things as we always have; you may continue to run a program or deliver a service because you have always done so.  In the back of your mind you may know that you shouldn’t continue down that path.  But why would you stop when you continue to be funded?  If the social research or evaluation process shows that your service is not providing any value, then it is time to stop.  It can be hard to do, as the only driver is your internal sense of honesty that you should stop.   Let us explore other ways you could be spending your budget for greater financial and social return on investment.

Sin #6- Wrath

Not really anger, but perhaps frustration with your colleagues, with the process, or with some other aspect of your work.  You may feel frustrated that people don’t listen to you, that your staff don’t seem to be motivated, yet you don’t know what to do.  Let us conduct a staff satisfaction survey or other tailored stream of social research amongst your stakeholders to find out where they are coming from so that your frustration can be put to rest.

Sin #7- Lust

How can a social research consultant address your feelings of lust?   I’m glad you asked!  But perhaps it’s not quite what you think.  You may be lusting after having the elusive percentage finding that puts you and your organisation in a good light.  But sometimes social research is not as simple as coming up with a magic number.   Sometimes it involves more complex, in-depth exploration of a topic that will give you greater insight into what you do.  As a result, your relationship with the findings will be more long term rather than resembling a short term relationship that goes nowhere.

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