Dr. Dave Lundahl, CEO & Founder of InsightsNow, knows that a strong team starts with a personal investment from leadership. “…effective leadership requires being a selfless person,” he shares, “…[one must be] passionate about a vision and mission that is inspirational and not self-serving.” Passion is one part of recipe, but for Dave, leadership is a multifaceted call to dream big—and inspire others to do the same.“ Leadership comes from an innate ability to imagine the future and mission, and to communicate that vision to others in ways that motivates collective action.” He goes on to differentiate between what it means to direct and what it means to truly lead: “Leadership is different from managing and directing, although leadership is a great quality to have for effective management. [A good leader knows] how best to communicate the vision and mission through words and actions so as to motivate others.”
With more than 20 years of industry leadership under his belt, his advice is worth heeding. “We founded InsightsNow 17 years ago, and in my work here—and in the greater market research industry—I bring a passion for fostering innovation to create a cleaner, healthier, happier world,” he notes. He goes on to share that, “…during my long career, I have founded companies that follow this passion by providing the most effective consumer insights for faster and more successful product development innovation.”
This outlook and passion has been especially helpful in the wake of COVID-19. Dave shares that, “despite the many challenges that 2020 has unexpectedly held, the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has actually provided me and my company with renewed focus that aligns with my passions and our company vision and mission. We have been able to pivot to focus on solutions that can serve a disrupted marketplace.”
One such pivot is the successful launch InsightsNow’s Innovation Center this year. The InsightsNow Innovation Center is an online platform to provide easier, on-demand access to research content generated through neuromarketing advancements that yield insights to inspire and foster food, beverage, supplement and non-food product innovation. For Dave, this project is more than just a salvo in response to pandemic-related obstacles; it’s the company’s ethos put into action. “[This project is] something that really can serve the new way we are doing business in today’s world. We see this as a wayto achieve our vision—a means to partner with companies across a wide array of industry verticals and to accelerate marketing, branding and product development decisions for disruptive innovations.”
Like all great leaders, Dave draws inspiration from a myriad of sources—some philosophical, some personal. “[Some of the] great thinkers and authors that have inspired me are Michael Dertouzos (The Unfinished Revolution), Clayton Christiansen (The Innovators Solution), Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow), Geoffrey Moore (Crossing the Chasm), Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers), and Neale Martin (Habit),” he offers. “My father — who was an ELCA Lutheran minister and who taught me the joy of giving — as well as my three daughters inspire me and are a big part of what drives me to focus on initiatives that help advance women in leadership.” To this last point, Dave and the InsightsNow team have stepped up this year in a big way to show their support of a more just and equal industry. “I have worked closely with WIRe’s Founder, Kristin Luck, over the years and have great respect for her and the WIRe mission. This year, InsightsNow stepping up to be a corporate donor to show our commitment to continuing to support and promote the growth of diverse groups in our market research industry.” Thank you to Dave and the InsightsNow team for their support of the WIRe mission!