Tchicaya (Robertson) Brooks on people, psychology, insights, & the future of work

In this podcast episode, we spoke with Tchicaya E.R. Brooks, Ph.D., the founder and CEO of Tribe Insights. She's passionate about providing groundbreaking research to make good business decisions and policy recommendations on how to remedy experience disparities in the black community with almost 30 years of experience as an applied psychologist in corporate and government settings. Tchicaya has an extensive background in psychometrics, advanced analytics survey based research, empowering Tribe to offer unparalleled insight for business decisions.


On the show, Tchicaya focused on the importance of the future of work and the workers themselves, indicating that there hasn't been enough emphasis on understanding and supporting workers in the past. After spending over 28 years in corporate America, she aims to dedicate her next chapter to advocating for and empowering workers as the workplace continues to evolve.

She highlights the significance of embracing new worker theories to adapt to the modern work environment. Tchicaya emphasizes the role of technology, such as generative AI, in reshaping work processes and fostering higher-order critical thinking skills, noting, "I'm a proponent of generative AI, I'm a proponent of being more productive at work and doing things that really matter more to me."

She goes on to delve into the factors contributing to women, particularly black women, leaving the corporate workplace and the need for organizations to prioritize individual differences and employee engagement. "Why are women leaving the workplace in droves? Why are black women specifically leaving the workplace in droves?'s not easy but how you motivate me may be different than another person, how you cater to my needs coming from my own  experience is different and it's hard work. And so that's why I go back to what motivates us as workers."

She emphasizes the critical role of market research in understanding consumer behavior and driving business decisions, stating, " I think we drive everything. I may be too optimistic about our value. But as a researcher, as an insights professional, I think we drive everything." She advocates for greater inclusivity and collaboration within the research industry to address gaps in representation and perspectives, stating, "I think if we didn't have people fall into research, we wouldn't know where some of the skills gap are, and how it's going to be really important to bring everybody up to speed on those things in the future."

Tchicaya also shares insights into her personal journey into market research and emphasizes the importance of making the field more accessible and attractive to diverse talent through programs like the  Insights Association's IDEA Council, stating, "But I think there's a big difference but I think if we didn't have people fall into research {versus seeking out the profession intentionally}, we wouldn't know where some of the skills gap are, and how it's going to be really important to bring everybody up to speed on those things in the future."

As our discussion continues,
 Tchicaya delves into various aspects of the evolving workforce and the role of research in understanding and addressing these changes. She emphasizes the importance of thinking critically about the future of work and the need for researchers to consider the business implications of their work. She stresses the significance of generative AI in enhancing productivity and fostering critical thinking skills, advocating for more education and discourse on its role in daily operations.

Furthermore, Tchicaya highlights the need for continuous learning and upskilling, particularly in adjacent fields, to adapt to evolving job roles. She underscores the importance of motivating and engaging workers, particularly women, in technology fields, emphasizing the need for early intervention and support to build a diverse talent pipeline. We also talk about her belief in the power of psychology in understanding human behavior and driving innovation in the workplace.

In terms of recommendations for researchers looking to strengthen their skills, she emphasizes the value of continuous learning through various channels, including courses, reading, joining organizations, and volunteering. She encourages individuals to pursue their passions and seek out opportunities to apply their skills and knowledge in meaningful ways.

She says, "I love what I do. I love research. I eat sleep research. I volunteer research. It's, it's so critical to life...When we can really get into what makes people move, what makes someone want to do a thing -human behavior. That's why I went into this field."

Listen in to hear more of her insightful perspectives on the future of work, highlighting the importance of considering the human element amid technological advancements and organizational changes.


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