Fieldwork

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Thick Description

Like the anthropologist Clifford Geertz, we take a long and contextual view of behaviors. It starts with ethnography but it’s more than just a set of fieldwork techniques, it’s an interpretive process and a way of thinking. It’s like detective work, uncovering layers and structures of meaning in order to solve the mystery of new opportunities.

Deep Listening

Listening to consumers is active, not passive. We have adapted three approaches.

  1. Person-centered: Non-judgmental, reflective techniques create deep, empathic connections (psychology, Carl Rogers).
  2. Languacultural: Look for “rich points” in ordinary conversations (anthropology, Michael Agar).
  3. Cognitive: From theories of memory retrieval used in verifying eyewitness accounts.

Narrative Contradiction

Consumers can’t tell you their needs directly. But give them the chance to weave a story and you’ll find out more. It’s the narratives that are revealing. Finding the gaps, the disconnects, the things they keep coming back to, the things that don’t initially make sense. Learning as much from what isn’t said as what is.

Cleveland Clinic on Empathy, The Human Connection to Patient Care

Cleveland Clinic on Empathy, The Human Connection to Patient Care