The Week: Best of the blogs - Here's a revelation for you

It struck me recently that, although I place great store on the quality of an insight, I really had no consistent way of measuring how good one of them was and no way to help other people recognise a potent insight if they stumbled across one. That has all changed.

For me, 2009 is going to be the year of the insight. But how do you legislate for good insights? How do you describe what an insight is? How do you know whether what you have on your hands is an insight or a piece of lacklustre intellectual guano?

So I had another look at Simon Law's excellent presentation on insight and the answer was sitting there rather splendidly waiting to be nicked.

He uses the word revelation, which in a way was a bit of a revelation. Because revelation is spot-on, is it not? An insight is a revelation. It has to be, that's what elevates it from being simply an observation.

So I had a go at working up a little definition of revelation. To qualify as a revelation an insight has to be an astonishing disclosure about real people, the brands they use or the world they live in.

Just as creative briefs must be simple and interesting, the insights in them must be a revelation - to the writer, team, client and people the work is intended for.

No revelation or astonishing disclosure, no insight. Simple.

Let's say that again: if you find anything masquerading as an insight on a strategy, in a document, in a research debrief, in a creative brief or in a conversation that does not appear to you to be a revelation, get rid of it immediately.