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By Mairéad Mc Keown, Manager, Knowledge & Critical Capability

This article in three words: Insight, Engagement, Strategy


Image by Alexa on Pixabay

You’ve got an important customer pitch coming up and you really want to nail it with some great insight and good thinking that leads to growth. You recall a piece of insight you’ve come across previously and know that it could really help you pitch perfect. The name of it escapes you, but you set about trying to find it anyway. Unfortunately you end up wasting time searching your inbox and then some files and folders that lead you nowhere. You’ve hit a brick wall. Or maybe you get lucky and the folders you search do actually lead you to numerous similar files which are all different versions of the same piece of insight. Anxiety with version control is building. On top of that you can’t recall which colleague created the insight. Or even worse, you do and they’ve now left the organisation, so discovering which version is the final one is near impossible. All of this gives rise to frustration, anxiety, lost productivity and a sub-optimal pitch due to lost insight. Does this scenario sound like an all too familiar experience to you?

There’s no doubting that the true cost of lost productivity, when searching for insight, can be difficult to measure. In addition, tackling it can be easily put on the long finger when activities like innovation or market entry strategies are perceived to be more important. However, it’s important to note that lost productivity will remain and continue to drain both time, thinking and quality of work if it isn’t tackled.  If finding insight is like finding a needle in a haystack, the good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. This insightful article will share a proven approach to building a successful insight engagement strategy, so that you and your colleagues can easily find love at first insight. After all, a successful insight engagement strategy can help optimise a smart decision ready environment, drive business growth in the short-term and help identify future sources of growth in the long-term (Bord Bia, 2019). What’s not to love about that?


Six Step Insight Engagement Strategy

Since 2019 Bord Bia has been on a mission to create a culture of insight engagement and ultimately help its colleagues think better and work smarter not harder. To achieve this mission, it implemented a 6-step insight engagement strategy, centralising its insight and turning it into a renewable resource (Bloomfire, 2021).

Here are steps 1-6 of the strategy:


  1. Insight needs were identified:

Emerging big idea - the need for a powerful, yet easy to use search engine for sharing, finding and engaging with insight in Bord Bia was identified. To meet users where they were at, it would need to be as easy to use as Google. Subsequently, Bord Bia chose a best in class knowledge sharing platform and branded it internally as THE SOURCE. Quite simply, because it’s the SOURCE of all internal insight in Bord Bia.




  1. Goals and objectives were defined:

Bord Bia’s We Must Do was to launch a best in class insight engagement platform within a six month period. And move things:


FROM a work environment where insight sits in many different sources, productivity is lost and there’s increased potential for missed engagement opportunities that could lead to sub-optimal thinking and a compromised quality of work.


TO a work environment where insight sits in one single, central, easily searchable SOURCE, colleagues work smarter not harder and there’s increased engagement opportunities to leverage insight and practice good thinking to help nurture a thriving future for Irish producers.  


  1. Existing insights were mapped and gaps were identified:

Bord Bia captured an inventory of what insight existed across the organisation. It looked at the subject matter, where it was located, the file format(s) it existed in and whether it was outdated or not. This helped with the identification of gaps to be filled and provided the foundation of the strategy implementation.


  1. A Steering Committee was established:

A steering committee was established to guide the success of this initiative. Key personnel included: the Knowledge Manager, Director of Insight, IT manager and other colleagues. Having a senior decision maker and dedicated Knowledge Manager on the committee helped speed up the implementation and guide future success.


  1. A culture of insight engagement was created:

This culture carefully balances the right mixture of MOA (motivation, opportunity, ability) to help Bord Bia spark engagement with insight and grow its collective intelligence.


Motivation – this includes rewards and recognition tactics for insight engagement which appeal to both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, selling and re-selling the benefits of using THE SOURCE and regular trigger emails to motivate regular engagement.


Opportunity – facilitating easy access to a 24/7 cloud based platform from anywhere in the world, with alignment to existing tools and processes so engagement with insight on the platform is embedded into organisational ways of working.


Ability – roll out of a beta launch with an initial group of users to test, learn and refine, creation of experiential face to face training and micro video tutorials on how to use the platform, establishment of a network of champions to role model desired behaviours and advocate for continued engagement.


  1. Successes were and continue to be tracked and reported:

Quarterly reporting at the Senior Leadership Team, annual Town Hall presentations and organisation wide communications celebrating best practice insight to help INSPIRE colleagues with what good looks like. Bord Bia has and continues to exceed measures to create a culture of insight engagement. Colleagues report experiencing a smarter work environment, where they can easily find, share and engage with insight for better thinking and platform engagement exceeds best practice.


The implications for Irish suppliers:

If you wish to tackle lost productivity and boost good thinking with insight, you may wish to play with Bord Bia’s proven approach to successful insight engagement. Implementing the six step strategy documented above, could help you and your colleagues find love at first insight to drive business growth in the short-term and help identify future sources of growth in the long-term. There’s a whole lot to love about that, right?

Bord Bia clients who want to learn more about Bord Bia’s proven approach to  insight engagement can get in touch with Mairéad Mc Keown, Manager of Knowledge & Critical Capability at Mairead.mckeown@bordbia.ie



Bordbia.ie. (2019). Retrieved 8 September 2022, from https://www.bordbia.ie/globalassets/bordbia.ie/about/bord-bia-statement-of-strategy.pdf.

Jacobson, M. (2021). The 6 Key Steps to Developing a Knowledge Engagement Strategy. Bloomfire. Retrieved 8 September 2022, from https://bloomfire.com/blog/key-steps-knowledge-engagement-strategy/.

Bord Bia Insights for the Irish Food Industry. Bordbia.ie. (2021). Retrieved 8 September 2022, from https://www.bordbia.ie/industry/insights/?query=&pageSize=6&pageNumber=1.