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The Library

Jochum Stienstra Netherlands
Cognitive Edge methods have enriched me both intellectually and professionally and because of this I remain an active member of the Cognitive Edge Network.

I’ve been an Accredited Practitioner of the Cognitive Edge Network since 2006, though even before that I’d known of Dave Snowden through the ESOMAR congress in Cannes. The Cognitive Edge Methods I learned of there impressed me. After attending an Accreditation course in Vancouver, I began to use Cognitive Edge methods in workshops with my clients, in particular the Archetype Extraction method. I’ve used it for more than twenty times now, and it continues to impress me with the richness and novelty of each new input. The archetypes that emerge from the culture of my client organizations in these exercises have been used for a variety of change projects. Cognitive Edge methods have enriched me both intellectually and professionally and because of this I remain an active member of the Cognitive Edge Network.

I have been a practitioner since 2006. Before being accredited, I had seen Dave Snowden at the ESOMAR congress in Cannes, and was quite impressed by his approach. I own a small qualitative market research agency (seven researchers) and I sent one of my employees to a London Accreditation course. She was enthusiastic as well, and we decided to do a study on our own account and wrote a booklet about it. In 2007 I went to the Accreditation course in Vancouver, and that really got it started. I was very much inspired by the Anecdote Circles and Emergent Archetype workshops. I learned how to use those and was lucky to sell one by phone during the course (at 6 am in the morning, talking to a Dutch client who thought he phoned me in the afternoon because he didn’t know I was in Vancouver).

This first go was a big success. It was about the designated driver. I was able to publish a paper about this case in the following ESOMAR congress in Montreal and won the ESOMAR award for that. Since then I have been using archetype extraction over and over; I think more than twenty times. It always impresses my clients and it really helps them with their thinking. And it keeps on impressing myself, how rich an output you get from a simple procedure. I have used it for a variety of clients, both in the public sector and for commercial reasons. I use illustrators most times, but sometimes I leave it with verbal descriptions of how they would see the archetype, for budget reasons. I then ask the consumer to pick photo’s from a magazine that best represent the archetype. One of my last projects one of the consumer groups started to draw their own archetype. That was brilliant! It wasn't a very skilled illustration, but it certainly had the flavour we were looking for. Using the Cognitive Edge methods has seriously helped me both intellectually as well as in my business.