LS – Simple Ethnography

What is meant by it?

Simple ethnography is an organizational structure in which you will be observing the activities of people with different local experiences to come up with a pattern that can help you in solving a challenge that you were not able to solve before.

How is it done?

Simple ethnography can be carried out by inviting participants to observe people silently who have had an experience with the important challenge. It can take place in any local setting. Notebooks and cameras will be required in this liberating structure. Every participant will be contributing equally. In five minutes you will be explaining the problem to the participants. In the next five minutes, tell the sites and people they need to observe without talking to anyone which will be carried out in 3 hours. Then, ask the participants to choose behaviors that they observed which can relate to the challenge and to ask those people certain questions about what they had observed in them. When all of this is done, ask the participants to compare their notes and find the patterns to come up with a solution in 15 minutes. They will then be writing their observations and insights on their notebooks.

What is its purpose?

Simple ethnography can help in making invisible patterns visible and revealing things that can help you in solving a problem. You will learn how to respect and trust people when you are interviewing them.

What are its Tips and Traps?

Try not to be too quick in adding interpretations when making observations. Do more than one round of simple ethnography if required. Don’t forget that deviance can be good for you. Be comfortable when you are trying to understand something. Try to focus on the details and don’t miss out on important information.

Examples – Where can it be used?

Simple ethnography is an agile way of understanding and solving different problems and can be used in the following circumstances:

  • Sale representatives can learn from their colleagues how they get better results than before.
  • Clinicians to understand how other clinicians can understand the needs of their patients in a better way.
  • To understand the differences between effective and ineffective

— Slimane Zouggari