STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT NAVIGATOR | Dissemination, Implementation, Communication, and Engagement
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Liberating Structures' User Experience Fishbowl

User Experience Fishbowls consist of a small inside circle of people surrounded by a larger outside circle of participants. The inside group is formed by people with experience or expertise on an issue of interest to those in the outside circle. This fishbowl design allows the people in the inside group to share their experiences in a conversational style. The informality allows for the easy flow of questions and answers back and forth, facilitating learning.

far fa-dollar-sign fa-sm Budget (e.g. personnel, space, equipment) Low Medium High far fa-user-clock Time per interaction I expect to engage stakeholders for... An hour or less Half a day A full day far fa-calendar-check Number of interactions I expect to interact with stakeholders... 1-2 times Appx. 5 times 10+ times Engagement Purposes far fa-scrubber Identify and explore new perspectives or understanding far fa-scrubber Develop research questions relevant to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Select outcomes and measures that matter to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Expand and diversify stakeholder outreach far fa-clock Time Frame

40-70 minutes

fal fa-tasks-alt Workload LIGHT MEDIUM HEAVY
Appropriate Applications More useful for: far fa-scrubber Gathering a range of opinions or ideas that people have about a topic far fa-scrubber Brainstorming ideas and identifying action items far fa-scrubber Transfer of knowledge far fa-scrubber Exploring a broad range of ideas far fa-scrubber Educating and informing far fa-scrubber Discovering issues or topics yet unknown to you or the participants far fa-scrubber Introducing a future, complicated, or abstract topic and getting feedback on it far fa-scrubber Structuring discussion about a controversial or difficult topic far fa-scrubber Getting input on a vision, topic or scenario from different users far fa-scrubber Facilitates learning from innovators and early adopters Less useful for: far fa-scrubber Collecting information that can be applied generally to other groups of people far fa-scrubber Asking for sensitive information Key Characteristics Resources Needed fas fa-money-bill-waveMoney far fa-scrubber You may need to rent a space or microphones if your group is larger fas fa-paperclipMaterials and Resources far fa-scrubber 3-7 chairs in a circle in the middle of a room far fa-scrubber Microphones for inner circle if whole group is larger than 30 to 40 far fa-scrubber If possible, a low stage or bar stools make it possible for people in the outer circle to better see the interactions far fa-scrubber As many chairs as needed in an outer circle around the inner circle, in clumps of 3 to 4 chairs far fa-scrubber In large groups, have additional microphones ready for outside circle questions far fa-scrubber Refreshments for participants fas fa-usersPersonnel At least three team members are needed to form an I-CORP team and must fall into the following roles: far fa-scrubber 3-7 people with direct experience far fa-scrubber Moderator/Facilitator far fa-scrubber Note taker(s) How To Explain the fishbowl configuration and steps. (2 min)
  • Ask those in the fishbowl to describe all elements of their experience, both the good and the bad, in an informal and conversational manner. Instruct them to avoid presenting to the audience and to instead engage in conversation with one another as though the audience was not there.
  • Those outside the fishbowl should be organized into small groups of 3-4 people. Invite the people outside the fishbowl to listen, take note of nonverbal exchanges, and formulate questions they might want to ask those inside the fishbowl within their small groups.
Allow the conversation in inner circle to continue until it ends on its own. (10 to 25 min) Allow time for the small groups in the outer circle formulate observations and questions. (4 min) Questions are submitted to the inner circle are answered. This questions and answer session continues between the outer and inner circles until all of the questions are answered. (10 to 25 min) Hold a debrief session with the full group to summarize observations, main points, and takeaways or next steps. (10 to 15 min) Adapted from
Notes For inner circle, pick only people with direct personal experience (without regard to rank) Encourage inner-circle people to share concrete, very descriptive examples rather than opinions Advise inner-circle people to imagine being in a car or a bar sharing stories and having a conversation Encourage everyone to share both successes and failures, “the good, the bad, the ugly” Collect ALL the questions from the outside circle before the "fish" restart their conversation Based on the overall pattern of questions, give the "fish" a choice of which questions to address Variations With virtual groups, people in the outside circle use the chat function to share questions “to all” or in “pairs” as the conversation unfolds among “the fishes of the inner circle.” Examples References / Other Resources

The Stakeholder Engagement Navigator is a service of the Data Science to Patient Value Initiative at the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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