It’s time to liberate experience

Everybody’s experience is valid. But all too often we are required to limit our experience to conform to the will of others.

Nowhere is this more true than in organisations. Every organisation has a shared system of beliefs and behaviours, which can be understood as its culture. Cultures emerge from the constant interaction of people with each other and their environment.

But the unpredictable, non-linear nature of these interactions is a primary reason why organisations find it so hard to change a culture. The principle of cause and effect that guided approaches to leadership in the industrial era is no longer suited to the complexity of the knowledge era.

Liberating experiences

So what can we do? Well, one powerful solution to this problem is to harness the power of experiences.

A key value of experiences is that they are neither right nor wrong, they just are. You may think you know what is happening in your organisation, but unless you are making a conscious effort to listen to the full range of customer and employee experiences your understanding will be limited.

The digital age has made it possible to liberate, access and search the constantly shifting landscape of experiences happening within and beyond an organisation. But we are only just beginning to see a corresponding shift in the willingness to use these experiences to guide decision-making.

Legitimation by experience

Every experience is legitimate. If you have an organisation of 1,000 employees, you have 1,000 pairs of ears and eyes that can help you build a picture of what is actually happening. If you widen the net to include customers’ experiences, this number increases exponentially.

Using these experiences to guide the activity of employees makes an organisation significantly more responsive to its environment. But while digital tools have shown us ‘how’ to do this, many organisations are still struggling with the ‘why’.

As we move further into the knowledge era, it is no longer effective to expect leaders and executives to have all the answers to complex problems. The answers lie in the crowd, in the employees and customers who make up the organisation and its ecosystem. Their real-world, real-time experiences are an invaluable resource of information that shows what is actually happening, and not what the ‘organisation’ thinks is happening.

Every organisation has an army of potentially willing helpers who want to share their experiences. Why wouldn’t you want to liberate this power?


The QoE use the Perpetual Experience methodology to help businesses become more responsive, more innovative, more authentic, and more efficient. If you’re interested in harnessing customer experience to transform your business, you might also like:

Thank you to Philippe Leroyer on Flickr for the use of his excellent photo.

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