The RDA Blog of Pat Maykuth

Pat Maykuth

I have always been interested in finding new methodologies that address interesting questions rather than limiting the questions asked to those we already had methodologies and statistics to answer. To that end we founded Research Design Associates. Our goal is to provide research resources to individuals and organizations that lack the in-house research capacity to get the answers they need.

I prefer to work with small or emerging growth companies because they tend to be agile and act on findings. Working with these companies as they develop their strategic agendas is exciting and fun. Large companies have inherent political forces that color how results are viewed. They tend to be slower to act and often rely on history more than current developments and future opportunities. We are equally interested in helping not-for-profit and public-private partnerships ask the right questions that will enable them to move toward their mission in today’s marketplace.

Research is like paper folding. In origami for hundreds of years it was believed that only 7 folds could be made from a single sheet of paper. Then, just after the turn of the millennium, a clever high school student in California demonstrated how there could be 12 folds. She did the math and took paper folding to a whole new level. Research Design Associates is where math, science, creativity, and innovation come together to help us conceive better solutions and futures that had not been thought of before. New technologies and opportunities abound if we take the time and expend the effort to look and learn.

My formal education resulted from the pursuit of degrees in psychology from George Washington University to the University of Wyoming and through a Ph.D from Emory University. The rest of the story resulted from thinkng about challenging issues with folks interested in workable solutions.

I continue my lifelong passion for and engagement with horses that run and jump.

Does multitasking make you stupid?

Digital natives are constantly switching attention from a variety of inputs. While rapid engagement with a variety of stimulation through multiple sources of web input, what happens to the “quiet” engagement. Where do we learn the skills necessary for the creative, insightful and inventive thought? How do we learn to lead and support leaders if we are mainly engaged in reception? Hopefully we’ll observe, collaborate and learn how digital immersion impacts education; gaining insights about development in the digital age. Otherwise, today's youth will wonder “What took you so long?”

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9.5.2011
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Business communications, social networking, leadership and concentrated creative thought

He warned that multitasking, immediacy and constant interruption may be the enemy of solitude, concentration and long stretches of time without distraction or interruption are essential to formulate ideas, to think flexibly, creatively, and independently. And yet the impact of technologies on complex collaborative problem solving, rapid access to information and the sparking of innovative ideas among those with a collective vision can generate remarkable knowledge. How do we accomplish these focused actions and interactions while adapting to the new socially networked norms? Older brains (or those on the grey side of the digital divide) are going to have to adapt to the opportunity if their institutional memory is going to be reliant to the future.

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9.2.2011
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Inventor ’s Choice

What do inverters want? (Good return on their investment and minimal risk). What do inventors want? (Sell lots of the product and make a bunch of money). What's the optimal market for the product? (That's where market research comes in). Successfully addressing these 3 questions are a good basis for finding the bring a new product to market. It has never been easy, but it is harder with finance organizations currently being so risk averse.

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6.19.2011
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Inventor's Dilema

Recently a potential client contacted us about a new product he was interested in bringing to market. He wanted to know the size of the market in the US and who the top manufacturers were. He commented that he didn’t believe that at the end the market study he would know anything more than he had already found on the web. That response was somewhat of a surprising to us as he had done quite a lot of web research and approached RDA after being unable to obtain the numbers he sought. It is likely that his specific questions about the number of units sold and the top manufactures were being requested of him for a business plan necessary for financing.

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6.12.2011
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Cheap Communications Cost Revolutionize Employee Collaberation and Productivity

Top down management of complexity is being transformed by networks and collaborative innovation in flatter organizational structures of social networks. Young tech savvy employees need management, but that management must be in tune with their skill, collaborative education and resistance to authority. Human productive capacity is the power of extended collaboration through the ability to work with anyone anywhere in the world who has the knowledge and skills a business needs. Learning organizations offer the opportunity to evolve the company, to educate and train employees to contribute at all levels and to move swiftly. There is an employment downside, there are employees who will lose if they do not keep pace.

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12.23.2010
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Managing the New Technology To Implement Organizational Strategy

Training for the new economy will be essential to improve and broaden skills to remain employable. While training and development programs used to teach new hires to perform a specific job, today’s training can update the skills and knowledge of established employees. Employees who are committed to adapting to the demands of the new economy will get in the habit of learning and continually developing their education. Knowledge and information are important components for the companies that will thrive after the recession. Thriving companies will be those that rapidly respond to customer feedback and expectations. They will have systems in place to obtain that feedback, candidly respond to it and capitalize on the opportunity - quickly.

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12.19.2010
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Managing the New Technology and the New Employee

How can one integrate the existing company workers with the new technology and the new hire. The growth of computing and internet capacity in the past 30 years has allowed the decentralization of management and the decreased the value of large size as a requisite for competitive success. Today product development and innovation can take place where the talent and creativity are and not be restricted to corporate headquarters. Increasingly the talented and highly educated workforce located well beyond our shores. This allows small business from around the world to enter markets previously closed to them.

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12.12.2010
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How can a small business find and afford the best new employee?

Employers have several opportunities to “test drive” a potential new hire. Savvy out-of-work individuals with experience and skills the organization needs have repackaged themselves as consultants that can be hired on a project basis. That way they can demonstrate their value without becoming an ongoing expense as the economy starts back up. Companies are joining with educational institutions. Educational institutions need practical experience for their students as much as companies need input on how to reinvent themselves in this brave now internet marketplace. Some of the graduates of IT programs who lack substantive work experience in their fields have had difficulty finding the work they trained for. Education and training programs that include structured internships can help overcome this problem.

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12.9.2010
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What Skills Does A Small Business Need From A New Hire?

Employers with an eye on future are looking to new hires with new technology skills. Those organizations that will thrive during the anticipated slow recovery will be those which embrace the emerging and rapidly developing technologies associated with the interactive internet. Post recession businesses will conduct major portions of their development, marketing, sales, ordering, product and services acquisition and delivery as well as communication on the web. Leadership based on collaborative working groups enables utilization of the best talent (from anywhere in the world) and is rapidly decreasing development time and costs.

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12.5.2010
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Jobs - Employer's Choice

What kind of employee is best to hire? In an environment where there are many applicants for each available job, how does the employer make the best choice? gather and utilize the best intellectual capital regardless of age or location; understand that change will be increasingly rapid and continuous and adapt to it; and recognize that all facets of business are globalized. Small businesses have to hire smart while the market is glutted with well qualified job seekers.

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11.14.2010
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