Since I launched Eightfold Strategy, I have spoken to dozens of people about the company and there is a lot of curiosity about my philosophy and the Eightfold Path. I’d like to explain the elements of the Eightfold Path and how they connect to my approach to working with clients. The first step is Right View.
When you have the Right View, you see things as they are. Clients expect their consultants to bring a clear view. Yet too often we base our views on the way we think things should look or how they can look once we bring our expertise to the table. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to be forward-looking and to bring vision to the work. However, we must first start with a clear picture of reality.
Often, simply listening and observing will give us insights into The Right View.
Customers will tell you the truth if you ask how your organization or business is performing and what it can do better. Follow the chatter in the social media world and respond by fixing challenges and tapping into opportunities and new ideas. Read customer service logs. Ask your customers, donors and employees what they think at least once a year in a formal manner, such as an online survey, one-to-one meeting or mid-year account review. They will help you get a clear picture of the way things are and help you form the Right View.
One of the best ways I have seen organizations gain the Right View is by using ethnographic research. Essentially trained anthropologists observe audience behaviours to shape the Right View. There’s a ethnographic research group called Context-Based Research in Baltimore of which I have been a long-time fan. Theyoften make their research findings available to the public for free.
What ways are you using to shape the Right View of your organization?
Next up: Right Intention