A fast, fast-track approach
Anthropological studies of people and culture, or ethnography, are both complex and long in duration. New forms of ethnography are being applied in business contexts– sometimes to ensure full knowledge of the ecosystem for a potential new product and in some cases to understand an organization’s culture to improve its effectiveness. Metaphor Mapping offers an opportunity for a “fast track” approach.
When groups build their own maps, the rich set of symbols allows them to compile an emic analysis, graphically showing their own views of their culture and operations. That could be combined with an interview-based etic study where data collection is part of the preparations for Mapping workshops. It could employ a series of questions and prompts regarding: Team environment (management/communication styles, paradigms, values, customs), Learning style, Quality of relationships, Metaphors and when/where they have the most impact.
We are in the early days of applying Mapping in this way and will provide updates as we learn.