Category Archives : Groups


N-of-8 for managed care story development

Last month, I had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop with 40 market access account executives, sales managers, and marketing team leaders to create a new presentation for health plan formulary decision-makers. Using the N-of-8 story development technique, we divided into five teams to explore different scenarios for improving the contract position of their specialty pharmacy brand. The consolidated output will be used to develop new slides, data references, and materials. In addition, I led two other managed care projects recently: Interviews with case managers at health plans on the role of patient support programs in drug evaluations (with a […]


My new book N-of-8 just published this week.

In this book you’ll learn how to shift from just brainstorming, focus groups, and advisory boards to create groups that truly innovate. That’s why the model is called N-of-8. Since the publication of my first book, ForwardFast, I’ve benefited from many of your comments and suggestions. So in this N-of-8 book, I’ve applied a conversational style to present a workshop-in-print. And I’ve added more case study examples, key-point summaries, and actual templates and guides to make the model actionable. Thanks to many clients and friends, the book has already enjoyed a tremendous response. In the Amazon Kindle Store, it was […]


Tools in Action: N-of-8® groups for hospital brand story development

Last month, I completed a series of N-of-8 focus groups on new delivery systems in development. The fast-paced, interactive groups helped assess hospital customers’ knowledge of current offerings, their attitudes toward various manufacturers, and operational practices in product evaluation, purchasing, negotiating, and contracting, Specifically, the engagement involved development of recruitment screener, writing of the group discussion guide, direction for three product stories, and production of story exercise stimuli. I personally facilitated the in-facility groups in major U.S. cities, as well as web-based groups with customers from across in the U.S. As the N-of-8 participants engaged in discussion and revision, they […]


N-of-8® groups with specialty nurses in Europe

One of my favorite engagements of the past few months was moderating story development groups with specialty nurses in 3 European cities. My N-of-8 process proved more useful than typical market research focus groups because the clients could observe nurse customers not only discussing topics, but also working together to create a story. To begin, we used PicSorting with images of gallery paintings, to help nurses express their feelings about patient management challenges. Then, we shared 3 story angles, letting nurses select their favorite story and combine elements of all 3 to create their one ideal story. The outcome was […]


N-of-8® groups with specialty nurses in Europe

One of my favorite engagements of the past few months was moderating story development groups with specialty nurses in 3 European cities. My N-of-8 process proved more useful than typical market research focus groups because the clients could observe nurse customers not only discussing topics, but also working together to create a story. To begin, we used PicSorting with images of gallery paintings, to help nurses express their feelings about patient management challenges. Then, we shared 3 story angles, letting nurses select their favorite story and combine elements of all 3 to create their one ideal story. The outcome was […]


Healthcare Industry Advisory Board

I recently participated in the Healthcare Advisory Council of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce. The primary topic was progress of the Statewide Healthcare Innovation Plan (SHIP), designed to help evolve Idaho’s healthcare delivery system from a fee-for-service, volume-based system to a value-based model where care reimbursement is based on improved health outcomes. We heard from two legislative leaders on the hurdles, both political and clinical, in keeping patients and care connected in these times of transformation. Other topics were the state mental health system, immunization programs, and telehealth. I certainly benefited from hearing the views and experiences of government, […]


N-of-8 brand story development group facilitation

     A few months ago, I facilitated a day-long advisory board with physician specialists to gain insight on their experiences with an injectable product. A highlight of the day was using our N-of-8 methodology for brand story development. It was great to apply the principles of N-of-8 to the ubiquitous tactic of advisory boards. The client saw how it would engage the advisors, maintain a patient care focus, and produce actionable results. Specifically, we were about to see advisors not as “opinion leaders,” but rather “practice influencers.”  Therefore, we used N-of-8 to get beyond just asking for their reactions, and […]


How we’ve applied N-of-8® to uncover new product concepts

Using N-of-8 for new brand concepts can generate high potential new product and service ideas. The “open innovation” approach has long been taken by successful innovators, but it remains difficult – because the “not invented here” syndrome is seductive and stubborn to overcome. Going outside for ideas is much more complex than internally, because so many external groups of stakeholders may offer insights of value.  Here are several ways we have applied the N-of-8 tool to uncover new product concepts: 8 Individual Interviews – you can begin quickly and easily this by reaching out and speaking with people.  Many customers, […]