Osborne, Larry. Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 13, “Surveys: Why They’re a Waste of Time” (Loc. 1306-1401)
Osborne observes that while churches and non-profits survey their members, businesses use focus groups. “In most cases, surveys and focus groups provide little useful information. More often than not, they’re a colossal waste of time” (Loc. 1313). This may be due to the anonymity, which makes it impossible to weigh opinions. Osborne warns against accepting reports of anonymous people (Loc. 1326). He consistently pushes the idea of innovation over tradition. “When it comes to innovation, the only votes that matter are the yes votes. You need enough yes votes to support a trial run” (Loc. 1347). He also observes that often polls ask the wrong questions. For instance, a church which is not growing should not ask people who attend why they attend (Loc. 1380). To innovate, Osborne says we do best to use an idea which people will allow as a trial, securing buy-in later (Loc. 1392).