Focus groups are a very good way for out of touch senior managers to get answers to questions. Provided they are clear on what the question is. However having found out why things are not going to plan there is still the need to come up with a way to change things that will work. This is the genius of adding the egg.
An early focus group set up in the 1950's was tasked to answer the question why are the sales of cake mixes not meeting expectations when feed back from women is that they like the idea and convenience. The answer that came back was that 50's house wives felt guilty that they were not doing the work of baking the cake for their families. The genius was in realising that by requiring the house wife to add an egg they were making her feel she was making the cake and therefore she no longer felt guilt. And it worked sales of the revised cake mix dramatically increased.
What's missing from many of the focus groups set up by Local Authorities is the genius of adding the egg.
Blair McPherson former director author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk