March 2014
Vol. 13, Number 2

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News

Review of DC Metro Chapter’s February “Creative Mindflow” Presentation

Ruth Sando,

On February 21, the QRCA DC Metro Chapter welcomed a well-received past speaker, George Pierson. George, a creativity expert, owns Creative Mindflow. He provided a half-day workshop covering techniques such as meditation and brainwave training, used to connect with the insights for our work and personal lives. He led us through exercises for deep relaxation, demonstrating the connection between mind, body and creative break-throughs. We left with new tools to use in data analysis and personal relationships, as well as a feeling of well-being.

Chapter member Maritza Matheus shares her positive experience:

Creative Mindflow: A sense of serenity, confidence, enlightenment, safety, balance, being grounded and soothing energy.

Sound appealing? Who does not want to experience any of these things? Well, I experienced all of these feelings during George Pierson’s “Creative Mindflow” workshop held Friday, February 21, 2014, at Observation Research’s facilities.

George’s guided meditations and his explanation of how brain frequencies can lead to creativity and insightfulness, and provide answers to intentions were powerfully energizing. During the workshop, I was able to relax and “let go” of the shackle of preconceived notions and ideas and effortlessly replace them with a sense of freedom. The aggregate energy and relaxation among participants in the room was palpable after the workshop and interestingly visible in participants’ body language.

“Creative Mindflow” is clearly useful to address work and interpersonal issues and to generate responses to life questions, a tool I hope to use myself. Thank you, George!

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Florida Chapter Gets Creative at February Workshop

Gisella Emiliani and Marypage Turso,

The Florida Chapter met on February 28 at Ask Miami’s facility in Coral Gables to experience Rick Tabb’s presentation, “Beyond Moderating – Facilitating a Creative Workshop.” Rick is a creative thinking expert who has worked in the field of team dynamics, creative thinking, and strategic planning since 1990. Members walked away from his presentation equipped with the creative process: techniques for generating energy and innovation.

What follows is a summary of key learning:

Creative Work

Creative work is an important component of work necessary for creating new thoughts, ideas, and innovation. Rick Tabb gave us some ideas to demystify the process and access creative thinking.

  • It's important that respondents feel vested and have ownership in the creative process.
    • For this, Rick had a star-shaped squeeze toy that respondents had to throw at each other and “make their wish upon the star” to give their desired outcome of the workshop. 
    • This exercise enabled a change of energy in the room by using a creative prop and having us get out of our comfort zones. It also helped to establish ownership and to help Rick get an idea of our desires.
  • An important question to address going forward is how to best create ownership among our focus group respondents.
  • When it comes to creative work, it is important to help each participant tap into the right side of the brain, the more abstract and associative area. 
    • To help us get into this space, Rick asked each of us to draw an individual place where we are creative, using colored markers and easel paper.  Although the drawings were very different, it was interesting to see that everyone included a bright yellow sun in their depictions.
  • We all experienced how to delve into the brain’s right side and got a first-hand idea of how to lead an exercise to bring it out in participants.
  • Important elements of creative exercises are:
    • Create an environment to allow participants get into a creative, safe place. This involves both the physical space and culture, specifically setting rules such as "no ideas are bad ideas."
    • Present a challenge to which participants can respond.
    • Help participants activate their imaginations by using colors and asking them to draw or do other creative exercises, such as skits or story telling.
  • Generate interaction and establish  rhythm – both individually and as a group.
  • Focus on intention; focus is very important in creative work.

The Creative Process

The Creative Process has seven key steps. They include:

Desire> Vision> Communication> Inspiration> Design> Build> Use

The “star exercise” described above is one way to promote desire in a group setting. The drawing assignment is one of many techniques for tapping into the “right side of the brain” to capture both individual and group vision for ideal outcomes. 

Once an exercise like this is performed, the group can share their drawings/designs/ideas; and it is through the “show and tell” activity that communication happens. Inspiration tends to be the “magic.” It comes from making connections between things that are not always associated with one another in a rational context.

The Communications phase sets us up to have enough information from which to draw inspiration….and arrive at the “aha moment” for a given problem or challenge.  Generally the design, build, and use phases come after a team workshop is conducted. These steps leverage individual expertise to execute against whatever plan the team has committed to during the earlier steps.

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Passionate QRCs at the Eastern Canada Chapter

Kent Crutchfield, Special Guest

A blizzard of snow, sleet and wind could not stop the Montreal Chapter from a fun meeting on Valentine’s Day. Due to the weather, not everyone could attend, but we still managed to meet and greet for lunch.

Our organizer, Pascal Patenaude, had a Valentine’s Day theme for the “Come and Share Your Passion” meeting with candy, hearts and a fun “speed dating” networking exercise. The purpose of the exercise was to reintroduce the members and remind everyone of how we can collaborate more and take advantage of complementary skills. Unfortunately for the Valentine’s Day theme, we were only men at the meeting. (Not that there is anything wrong with that…)

We discussed the past QRCA conference in San Diego and all the benefits of becoming a member of the QRCA. We also discussed the topic of opening up membership to clients. The idea of the conference potentially losing some of its intimate feeling was mentioned, but overall most thought it would be a good idea to open up the membership to other groups.

There was a lively discussion of online methods, tools, and their place in modern qualitative research. I expect this topic will come up again at some of the future meetings.

We finished up by scheduling the next meeting for May 8 to watch a webinar on "Behavioral Economics" by Jay Zaltzman. Of course, we could all stay at home and watch online, but where is the fun and camaraderie in that?

We want to thank Christiane Ballant and her team from Groupe Christal for her excellent hospitality.

All in all, it was a fun meeting and a great way to keep in touch with the local members. Too bad about the weather; I expect a much bigger turnout next time!

Starting from the left: Kent Crutchfield, Cedrick Hached, Daniel Masse and Pascal Patenaude

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Minnesota Chapter Workshop: Power Up Your PowerPoint

Rosemary Sundin,

Ever have the good fortune to attend a QRCA workshop and immediately incorporate what you learned? (Me too!) The QRCA MN Chapter is grateful to Nancy Hardwick for presenting “A Visual Upgrade: Reports that Inform, Persuade and Entertain” at its meeting on February 24, 2014. We’re also grateful to Consumer Opinion Services in Seattle, FocusVision, InterVu, and Delve in Minneapolis for hosting.  

The workshop offered fresh perspectives and 15 substantive suggestions to the presentation aspect of report writing. Here is a condensed version of my key takeaways, using one of Nancy’s visual examples:

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Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter Presents a “Spring Bouquet” in April…

Laurie Tema-Lyn,

A Spring Bouquet
Friday, April 4, 2014
11:00am to 3:00pm EDT
Presented at Focus Suites, Bala Cynwyd

Registration and Networking: 11:00-11:30am EDT


1) Abby Leafe
Dear Diary: A Practical Guide to Meaningful Respondent Journals
11:45am - 12:45pm

Having a respondent track a particular behavior, feeling or time of day can lend powerful insights into a client’s research question. But creating an outstanding diary or journal exercise is so much more than giving a respondent a blank notebook or URL and lots of white space in which to write or type. This presentation takes an in-depth look at how to get the most from diaries and journals by exploring issues such as:

  • Why and when to include a journal as part of a research study
  • Choosing a platform: comparing paper, online and mobile options
  • Handwriting, drawing, typing, voice, photos, videos – which is right for a study?
  • Structuring the actual diary and best practices to solicit insightful entries
  • Dealing with timing, recruiting, logistics and reporting

Drawing upon Abby’s experience having conducted journals or diaries with hundreds of participants, lasting from several days to several months, this session will leave attendees armed with tools and techniques to create great “Dear Diary” adjuncts to their research.

Lunch, 12:45 - 1:15pm EDT

2) Laurie Tema-Lyn
1:15 - 2:00pm EDT

Laurie will present a preview of her upcoming presentation at the AQR-QRCA Worldwide Conference in Budapest, “Going to the Source: Working Directly with Consumers to Inspire and Advance Product Ideas.”

This presentation will focus on Consumer Collaboration methods (co-creation) for "Concept Inspiration” (early stages of new product or positioning work) and "Concept Advancement” (for feedback, building and refining concepts and prototypes). The approach falls under a wider umbrella of "Smashing Mirrors”; that is, initiatives that break down traditional barriers of qualitative research in methodology and collaboration between consumers and client teams.

This session will illustrate a variety of approaches, guidelines and how-to's for conducting co-creation programs using case studies drawn from American Standard, Perrier and others.

3) Karen Hyver, facilitator
Healthcare Consumer Qualitative as We Know It: Will it Blossom or Die on the Vine?
2:00 - 3:00pm EDT

How can insights from Abby's and Laurie's presentations be applied to market research with healthcare consumers [Patients/Sufferers]? To seed a lively and provocative discussion, Karen will review some of the highlights of the recent Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Market Research Group. She’ll share opinions expressed by the keynoter and other speakers from pharma companies and MR agencies on topics ranging from patient communities, to big data, to the future of the focus group.

$25 members; $35 non-members


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Save the Date in May: Special Program from the Philadelphia Chapter

Laurie Tema-Lyn,

May 9, 2014
Schlesinger Associates, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Bigger, Better Branding Boot Camp

Your customers have options, and lots of them. There are plenty of other companies, products or services out there that do what you do. If your business isn’t standing out and offering better value, then your brand needs a kick in the butt.

Increase your value so you become the only solution for your ideal client. Get creative with your brand experience with low or no cost marketing ideas. Identify your ideal client and connect on a deeper level to meet their needs.

This fun and interactive session will generate BIG ideas for your brand. Together, we will explore the possibilities of boosting your business brand in ways that you’ve never thought of before. So join us to Get Clear, Get Creative and Get More Clients.

Presenter: Janet Rouss
Janet has built brands for more than 25 years as a creative director in some of Toronto’s top advertising agencies. She launched the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, and other award-winning programs for Coca-Cola, Mattel, Nestlé, Heineken, and many more.

She now brings this expertise to business owners who want to make it big in business. Her down-to-earth approach helps to increase their value proposition so they can attract more of their ideal clients … and make more money doing what they love.

She’s a strategic thinker, graphic designer and writer, and the author of the forth-coming book: “Authentic Branding: A Down-to-Earth Approach to Making More Money Doing What You Love.”

Watch for details to follow!

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