Creating Trust and Legitimacy Through Independent Research
My time working at Samuel Associates this summer was as challenging as it was rewarding. I had the chance to learn an array of valuable skills, most importantly collaboration, open dialogue, and real-world problem-solving.
The Importance of Collaboration and Dialogue
First off, collaboration is essential for producing work that leverages all team members' efforts and their diverse knowledge and experience. Working at a government relations firm highlighted the importance of collaboration to deliver a product that matches government organizations' high-quality expectations.
Second, open dialogue with the client is essential for these collaborative efforts. The unprecedented circumstance of the pandemic made collaboration more challenging than usual. To overcome this challenge, we had to place a high priority on constant communication. As all team members worked to advance the same big stride, the firm's work culture both facilitated and promoted open dialogue via digital channels. Since our team members come from diverse walks of life, open dialogue helped bring together different perspectives to create a comprehensive product.
Third, given the nature of the firm's consulting services, my experience was entirely focused on solving real-world problems. I benefited greatly from learning how my knowledgeable and experienced colleagues and clients tackle these problems. Again, the open dialogue platform at the firm made the learning experience truly rewarding for myself and my intern colleagues. In no small part because we were all given voices at the table with senior staff and industry executives.
Delivering a Foundation of Trust for the Client
The objective of our research at the firm was to canvass and comparatively analyze all applicable industry practices. The client had a well-considered proposal, but it was important to know if their proposal was the best option. This, of course, meant understanding what alternatives they needed to consider before presenting to the government. Our research ensured their proposal was a complete package with a thorough discussion of alternate options and comparative analysis of these options.
In support of the client's proposal, the research also provided a synopsis of informative resources which the client presented to the government to help advance their goals. When receiving a research-based proposal, the government placed more value on the client's sincere efforts. The research also helped build a foundation of trust for the client's industry's recommended policy changes.
The Over-Arching Benefits of Independent Research
Research provides various informed perspectives and helps distill the best option to achieve an organization's goals. Business knowledge and qualified experience may provide a quick, intuitive solution to a real-world problem. Still, to validate the solution, in-depth academic research offers an added layer of certainty. This can reinforce the strengths of the solution and redress its weaknesses. A good solution only becomes more defensible when alternative options have been considered. Independent research is an indispensable part of the process of turning a good solution into the optimal solution.