Barbara Perry Associates | Ethnography Master Class
Barbara Perry, Barbara Perry Associates, Women, Leadership, leadership workshop, leadership program, ethnography, Putting Hope to Work, Hope, hope book, company, 5 principles, Harry Hutson, Taos, Fe-smart, women leadership, women retreat, north carolina, esmeralda retreat, mountain retreat, women's retreat, women's leadership, women leaders, Perry Associates, marketing research, discovery, collaboration, empowerment
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Thanks to 35 years of being schooled by the best companies in the world in what it really takes for a team to see with new eyes, I have distilled my experience into a three-day experiential learning journey that gets at the heart of the matter.

The process and tools rest on these building blocks and values which are also outcomes:


The primary goal is to learn process and tools;
everything else is a by-product of HOW we learn and discover together.

Details of Design

My thanks to Diego Viana, Vice President, New Platforms at Rich Products, for this very specific description of the work we recently did together:

We asked Barbara to come in and facilitate an ethnography training for a group of our marketing, R&D, sales, culinary, and business development associates. The three day session was absolutely outstanding! Barbara taught us the tools and skills we need to gather and elicit valuable insights from our customers and consumers on the first day of the session.

We were able to practice these skills in real interviews during our field day, where we set out to explore a specific topic. We leveraged the tools and techniques to uncover new nuggets of information we could never have anticipated. We didn’t know what we would learn, yet we came back with immensely powerful stories from our day of interviews and observation.

On our third day debrief session, we worked as group to take the raw data we gathered from our day in the field and synthesize it into   meaningful, actionable insights. We started our session with a broad topic in which we wanted to learnmore and ended three days later as a unified team, equipped  with powerful insights that can immediately be translated into next steps. It was a very valuable session, the team learned new techniques and skills that will change the way in which we do business.

The ideal group size is 15-21, and brings a diversity of perspectives. Participants could be:

  • People who can take the practice back into the business in multiple ways and put it to use immediately.
  • They may or may not all be focused on a particular need or project, but all can contribute key perspectives on the business and all can take away learning from a well-chosen topic.
  • A project team needing to step back for some reflection and re-grounding–early or along the way.
  • A global leadership team combining team-building with cultural development and exploration.

We do zero in on a real topic.

It’s important to invest our time in learning about something real that really matters so this becomes more than an exercise. Typically this has to do with innovation. It could be in search or support of a new platform. It could be at the very front end, or it could be an area that is already freighted with many hypotheses without adequate boots on the ground.

An important aspect of pre-consulting with the internal learning leaders involves framing of the topic (area of inquiry) as well as other specifics of the fieldwork.


  • Course is three full days. Full, mindful participation is critical.
  • I will do all the pre-work with my internal partners to frame it up.
  • I supply the learning process, content and teaching.
  • Client supplies a meaningful context – why this matters to the business.
  • Client supplies a wonderful venue, conducive to reflection.
  • Most importantly: client is fully responsible for all the logistics of the fieldwork day, including recruiting respondents, and scheduling for teams. I will support you in planning this, but not in the logistics.

If you are interested in discussing a full-scale team ethnography, please contact my long-time associate, Ruth Sando, at:

Contact Barbara Perry Associates