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The Viral Power of Business Insights: Spreading Knowledge for Strategic Organizational Success

Viral Power of Insights

None of us likely wants to hear more about our challenge with the recent global pandemic. However, we can use the concept of a “virus” as a  metaphor to help us understand how ideas, insights, and concepts can be spread throughout a company or brand. This article will explore the importance of disseminating business insights and provide an approach to making them viral within an organization, using  viruses as a guide.  

The Contagious Nature of Insights

Just like a virus, business insights can spread throughout an organization rapidly, influencing decision-making and strategy at every level. This pervasive nature of insights is critical to their effectiveness, as it ensures that all employees have access to the same valuable information, enabling them to make informed decisions and contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Identifying the “Carriers” of Insights

In the world of viruses, some individuals are more likely to spread the virus to others, acting as carriers. Similarly, certain individuals within an organization can act as carriers for business insights. These individuals may be team leaders, subject matter experts, or influential employees who have a strong understanding of the organization’s goals and strategies. Identifying and empowering these carriers can help to disseminate insights more effectively throughout the organization.

Creating the Right Environment for the Spread of Insights

For a virus to spread, it requires a suitable environment that supports its transmission. Likewise, an organization must create an environment that promotes the sharing and dissemination of business insights. This can be achieved by fostering a culture of open communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. Providing tools and platforms that facilitate the exchange of information, such as knowledge management systems or collaboration software, can also help to create the right environment for insights to spread.

Leveraging the “Viral” Nature of Insights for Continuous Improvement

As viruses adapt and evolve over time, so too must business insights. By continuously gathering, analyzing, and sharing new information, organizations can ensure that their insights remain relevant and actionable. Encouraging employees to share their observations, feedback, and ideas can contribute to this continuous improvement process, helping the organization to stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing market conditions.

But how do you do this? One way is to create an online Strategy Portal. A Strategy Portal is a cloud-based environment that aggregates insights into an easy-to-access environment where all key members of a team can absorb the same clear truth. 

When we worked with Dollar Shave Club they required all members of the brand team, innovation group, and even the customer support staff to consume the ongoing insight work being developed. 

Another important tool is to create insight memes. An insight meme is a critical insight boiled down to a simple, clear and quickly understood format that can easily be posted or shared. When working with Procter & Gamble we developed a graphic called the Millennial Value Map that illustrated the evolving perception of what constitutes a good value to the emerging generation. It made it clear that attitudes had shifted and the importance of brands to “do no harm” (think Fair Trade coffee) and even to take active steps to do good in the world (think Bombas) had become part of the equation.

Immunizing Against “Bad” Insights

While the viral nature of insights can be beneficial, it’s essential to guard against the spread of “bad” insights that could harm the organization. Establishing processes to validate and verify insights before they are disseminated can help to ensure that only accurate and reliable information is shared throughout the organization. Training employees to critically evaluate information and question assumptions can also contribute to a more discerning approach to knowledge sharing.

Remember the words commonly attributed to Mark Twain, “A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes.” Good insights should not only facilitate the growth of clarity and truth in an organization, but should also help us reject inaccuracies and confusion.


Embracing and leveraging the viral nature of business insights can lead to significant benefits for organizations, including improved decision-making, increased innovation, and a more insight-driven strategy. By identifying carriers of insights, creating the right environment for their spread, and continuously improving and validating shared information, organizations can harness the power of pervasive insights to drive success in today’s business landscape.

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