The CRM is a process for collective sense- making, typically used after co-sensing activities (sensing journeys or dialogue interviews). While 3D mapping gives a high level perspective from multiple angles, CRM allows participants to begin the process of physically embodying an experience.
The idea is to sense into, embody and give voice to what was heard during co-sensing activities without interpretation, judgment, or conceptual overlay. It's important to present data you heard or observed directly. At this part of the sense-making process, it's too early to add interpretations. Stay with the raw data.
Roles & Space
Set up the space with a circle of chairs. Roles will be set on the floor in the middle of the chairs.
Each stakeholder in the system is represented by a shoe card that is placed on the ground in the center of the circle. The placement of the roles can reflect who is at the center and who is more at the periphery etc. The placement also represents the relationship of the stakeholders/roles. Prepare a shoe card for each element/stakeholder in the system (the facilitator(s) should create this in advance). You should aim to have 8-12 roles represented.
Empty shoe cards can be labeled with additional roles and added to the constellation if participants wish.
Go slow. Create the CRM slowly so that everyone can have a deeper sense of the current reality.
Before you begin, all roles should be placed in the center of the circle. Everyone should be seated in a circle around the roles.
One person begins by picking a role whenever they feel moved to do so (not their actual role in everyday life). That person stands up and steps into the shoes of the person/role she is embodying. Sense into it, based on your interview or relevant experience. Take the body posture that embodies the felt-sense of this stakeholder's current reality in this system, and say the words of that person. The intention is to enact the exact words as precisely as possible. Do not paraphrase or add or interpret. Speak from the first-person “I” voice, as if you actually are that stakeholder.
Once the first person has completed the action, she chooses to either stay in that role or step out of its shoes and mindfully return to her place.
Anyone in the circle can go next. You don’t have to go in order around the circle.
The next person enters, steps into the shoes of yet another role. Then the next person, etc. This continues until everyone has spoken the words that need to be spoken (so the system is represented. Not all participants need to speak).
Observers are quietly listening and watching with their full attention. The circle is holding space for each participant as they enter, take on their shape, say their phrase and return to their spot.
After no more than 20 minutes, the facilitator/host pauses the process and begins the process of reflection. Use the questions below.Reflection / Harvest
What patterns are we noticing?
What touched you?
Needed time & Tools
Shoe cards (on an A3 sized paper draw a pair of shoes and write the name of the represented stakeholder on it)
The raw information that comes through when stepping into the role on the shoe cards helps the sensing process. It is important to not go into any form of interpretation yet, but to rather allow oneself to be a channel for information that has been observed. Raw data feels very alive and powerful, it allows for voices of different actors to actually be heard without adding filters.
The process of stepping into someone else’s shoes for me also has its own power. It develops open heart quality as it allows me to empathetically put myself in the role of a stakeholder in the system that is not myself. This practice shifts something inside, as the place of attention is clearly placed on the one speaking their truth. At the same time I have experienced that what I say may be coloured by what I think is the right thing to say - all is information if we allow that to inform us beyond wrong and right. It might unravel judgments or opinions we hold and allow for the system to start seeing itself. It’s important to reflect on that at the end of the process.
Sources and further reading
Theory U Book, Chapter 10 on Sensing:https://www.ottoscharmer.com/sites/default/files/TU2_Chapter10.pdf
See u.lab course on edx: https://www.edx.org/course/ulab-leading-from-the-emerging-future
Written by Michela Güttinger