"Joe Reporter" Interview Exercise

Posted on by Brandon Klein

This is an oddball assignment that can be useful. Singly or in small teams, participants go out into the organization and interview people on what they know, understand or have observed related to issues under discussion. The format is akin to the reporter’s “man on the street” interviews. It’s a way of assessing the current state of the “corporate mind.” For example, employees might be asked about how they feel about the changes underway, how well they understand them, and how optimistic they are that the changes will benefit them.

To take in new information; to do an informal survey and reading of the “corporate mind;” and to Scan and assess the current capabilities of an organization. TIMING/TIME REQUIREMENTS: This is typically a Scan exercise. It can be as short as 30 minutes, but it typically longer; 90 - 120 minutes.

Strengths — Provides “information” rather than opinion; is a way of testing what’s true rather than debating it. Weaknesses — Has to be understood for what it is — an informal survey. The attitude of the “reporters” can bias the report. Specifications for Success — 1. The basics: give clear direction.

Participants prepare a tabulation or news “report” of their results. Could consider doing a video of the interviews.