More infos to group size
Teams of 5 people
Is participant experience relevant?
It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.
Physical trust needed
Mental trust needed
If the facilitators agree, it is advised to take pictures and/or videos during the journey. A pen and journal are required for taking notes during and after the journey.
whole day – month
Experience level of the facilitator
routine as participant OR professional facilitator
Number of facilitators
At least one facilitator at the visited site
The group splits up into sub-teams of about 5 participants. The group composition matters because a mix of perspectives enhances the impact of the sensing journeys. Define places of high potential for the sensing journeys. The whole group of participants should go to several places that can provide insights into:
A good way to get a sense of the system is to take the perspective of its “extreme users”: customers who use services or products more than others or in different ways, or on a societal level, those with special requirements, such as a person living in a remote area needing access to a health system. The "extreme users" have a crucial role in an innovation process, since they point out things that could be improved. They have psychological strain and therefore are often highly motivated to find better solutions.
CHARACTER OF THE METHOD
Level of activationcalming
Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?
From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:
Sensing Journeys pull participants out of their daily routine and allow them to experience the challenge through the lens of different stakeholders. Sensing journeys bring participants to places and experiences that are most relevant for the respective question they are working on.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Go to the places of "most potential" (the places that provide you with new perspectives). Meet your interviewees in their context: in their workplace or where they live, not in a hotel or conference room. When you meet people in their own context you learn a lot by simply observing what is going on. Take whatever you observe as a starting point to improvise questions that allow you to learn more about the real-life context of your interviewee.
Observe, observe, observe: Suspend your voices of judgment and connect with your sense of appreciation and wonder. Without the capacity to suspend judgment, all efforts to conduct an effective inquiry process will be in vain. Suspending your voices of judgment means shutting down the habit of judging and opening up a new space of exploration, inquiry, and wonder.
USES & OUTCOMES
Compare C. Otto Scharmer, (2009) Theory U: Learning from the Future as it emerges. Berrett- Koehler: San Francisco.
Link to a more complex method, of which this Method is part ofhttps://www.presencing.com/tools
PREPARATION: Coordinate date and share the purpose and intent of the visit with the host at site.
Identify Learning Journeys: find places, individuals, organizations that provide you and the group with a new perspective.
Prepare as a group by discussing:
Start by developing a short common questionnaire (7-10 questions) that guides your inquiry process. Keep updating your questionnaire as your inquiry process unfolds.
Prepare the host: Share the purpose and intent of the visit. Communicate that it would be most helpful for the group to gain some insight into their ”normal” daily operations, rather than a staged presentation. Try to avoid “show and tell” situations.
3 On site
Small groups travel to the host’s location. While at the site, groups can split up in pairs. Trust your intuition and ask authentic questions raised by the conversation. Ask simple and authentic questions, use deep listening as a tool to hold the space of conversation. When your interviewee has finished responding to one of your questions, don’t jump in automatically with the next question. Attend to what is emerging from the now.
Example questions for sensing journeys:
After the visit, reflect and debrief: To capture and leverage the findings of your inquiry process, conduct a disciplined debriefing process right after each visit. Don’t switch on cell phones until the debriefing is complete. Here are a few sample questions for the debriefing:
5 Close the loop
Close the feedback loop with your hosts: Send an email (or other follow-up note) expressing a key insight you took away from the meeting (one or two sentences) and your appreciation.
Debrief as a whole group: After a one-day learning journey this debriefing would take place in next meeting with the whole group. In the case of a multi-day learning journey, plan to meet between the journey days if logistics allow.
Structure of the whole group debrief meeting:
Pictures/videos can be useful during reviews with the other groups and as a reminder for the participants.
An automobile manufacturing firm’s product development team decided to use Sensing Journeys to broaden their thinking and to generate new ideas. Their task was to build the self-repair capacity of their cars’ engines. The team visited a broad selection of other companies, research centers, and even experts in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). As it turned out, the visits with TCM experts generated the most innovative ideas for this project (including the idea to design self-repair functions for the “dream state” of the car--that is, for those periods when the car is not in use).