Insight isn’t as mysterious we make it out to be.
The nature and origin of insightful
thinking, the cognitive neuroscience that drives
the insight process, not to mention the history of how artists successfully
used insight to fuel innovation, are all widely documented.
But here’s the part of the process we miss.
Developing insight is only half the work.
Delivering it is
the other half.
And if our job as leaders and innovators and thinkers and
advisors is to contribute meaningfully to the growth and well being of every
person connected to us, we can’t just disappear into our own heads. Insight is
a social transaction. It’s not just theory, it’s theater. It requires motion. The
sharing of our thinking is the act of gratitude that finishes the labor.
Once we create that pivotal moment with our audience, when
the intellectual meets the interpersonal, when we deliver insight in such a way
that it becomes fundamental to someone’s worldview, we start to make a real
difference in people’s lives.
I’ve seen it happen. Dozens of times. And on both sides of
the insight coin, too.
I’ve had conversations with people whose insight sent shockwaves through my system and changed my life for the better, and I’ve had conversations with people who said that one of my insights changed the way they approached their work for the better.
And the same patterns always emerge:
Insights that are
delivered in interesting, packaged, original, actionable and relatable ways, exert
the greatest amount of influence.
Next time you go to work creating insight for your audience, execute against these five categories as a strategic audit for your insight delivery process:
1. How provocative is your word choice?
2. How dangerous are the ideas behind your words?
3. Are you offering a new way of looking at a problem?
4. Does your insight give perspective or just information?
5. What is your audience’s physical, bodily reaction to your insight?
1. Is your insight inherently rhythmic and easily repeatable?
2. How much time did you spend on the theater of presenting the insight?
3. Does your insight gain weight and truthfulness with each mental repetition?
4. Is this the right message, in the right place, at the right time, to the right person, in the right proportion?
1. Have you googled your insight to
gauge its uniqueness?
2. Does your insight contain any recycled language or
3. Have you coined a new word, and therefore, created a new
4. Do you understand this with your life, fully believing what
you understand and incapable of disbelieving it?
1. Does your insight contain meaningful concrete
2. What are you connecting your insight to that
helps it travel?
3. How does your insight make people proud to take
the first step?
your insight make people think, I believe this, I can do this and I want to try
1. Is your story big and important enough to
people easily superimpose
their own meaning onto your story?
3. Do your words equip people to spot the new story
with their own eyes?
4. What’s already in your audience’s head that you
can hang your insight next to?
5. How does your insight expresses what others
can’t think, say or feel on their own?
That’s the difference maker.
development with interpersonal delivery.
Real insight requires both.