Street Wisdom for business: Walking your team towards a better strategy

Street Wisdom walking
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If people like Aristotle, William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, Henry David Thoreau got some of their best ideas while walking, why wouldn’t a CEO, CMO or sales exec?

While Curiosity Inc. has already been working with individuals to test out the “Street Wisdom” approach to tackling difficult questions, its official launch on Friday could also offer teams or entire organizations a new way to develop strategies and action plans.

Originally developed out of the U.K., Street Wisdom uses a facilitator to send participants on a meandering stroll to think about a problem or issue with which they’ve been grappling. Sometimes described as a “walkshop,” Curiosity Inc. is welcoming people to try it out for free in Toronto on June 15.

Think of an organization that’s struggling to map out its digital transformation, for example, where key stakeholders might use Street Wisdom to conceptualize how digital technologies could bring value to their own functional area. Some firms might use Street Wisdom to get ideas to build a blockchain business case.

According to Karen Ward, president of Curiosity Inc., some of the initial conversations she’s had with organizations and teams are really about finding interesting, unexpected and helpful paths to inspiration.

“One executive I was talking with was talking about how they expect a lot from their internal marketing team in terms of creativity, and they were not sure they were doing enough to fill that (well of ideas) back up,” she told B2B News Network, which is helping promote the launch of Street Wisdom in North America. “She got really excited because this is something people did together but also had an individual component, which meant it could work for both introverts as well as extroverts.”

Ward said Street Wisdom can also offer great value as a team building or bonding exercise, whether it’s a new team of people who have just been brought together, for instance, or a team that needed a “refresh” to break past old habits and preconceptions.

“People are acknowledging it as a great mindfulness exercise,” she said. “Part of why it works for creative restoration is that gets people out of the office so they’re slowing down, paying attention and breathing.”

Street Wisdom walkshops take about three hours, which includes a series of tune-up exercises, a longer period of individual walking and then a de-brief which Ward facilitates. That said, the experience doesn’t necessarily end there.

Depending on what gets shared in the debrief, Ward said she often follows up with what she calls a “Content Rx,” which could be a list of books, a link to a video or other resource that might help them take any idea or insights they learned through walking and thinking a step further. Curiosity Inc. will also offer coaching and longer, full-day variations on Street Wisdom for a deeper experience.

Another way to build on the momentum from Street Wisdom is to try it more than once, Ward added.

“If you start with us and do a walkshop and get some initial ideas or trailheads, some direction, my advice is to keep doing it,” she said. “Those first idea may have raised another question in your kind. That’s when you write in a journal, talk to colleagues and continue the process.”

Registration for Street Wisdom’s Toronto launch is available here.


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Shane Schick
Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.