Sense-Making 101 Knowledge Base



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From Miljan Bajic on Medium:

At IDEO, a product design firm, sensemaking is step one for all design teams. According to founder David Kelley, team members must act as anthropologists studying an alien culture to understand the potential product from all points of view. When brainstorming a new design, IDEO’s teams consider multiple perspectives. They build various maps to inform their creative process. One IDEO team was charged with creating a new design for an emergency room. To better understand the experience of key patients, team members attached a camera to a patient’s head and captured his experience in the ER. The result was nearly ten full hours of film showing the ceiling. The sensemaking provoked by this perspective led to a redesign of the ceiling that made it more aesthetically pleasing and able to display valuable information for patients. Sensemaking helps us shift our focus from a rational and static picture that delineates our reality to a continuously changing worldview.

From A Storm is Coming (peer reviewed lit):

The core research question of this paper focuses on the ways in which an inter-organizational team collectively makes sense of an unexpected disruptive event in a complex organizational field. Our findings do not offer the ultimate solution for the debate in literature whether this collective sensemaking is commonly shared or negotiated. Instead, we show that conceptualizations of opposing groups of scholars are both valid statements: team work can be a catalyst for collective sensemaking (Arnaud & Mills, 2012; Vlaar et al., 20062008) just as well as the balancing act of being committed towards both home organization and inter-organizational team can lead to negotiated collectiveness (Cooper & Slagmulder, 2004; Jørgensen et al., 2012; Kajüter & Kulmala, 2005). Our findings show that the context – and in specific the kind of ambiguity in that context – influences which route toward collective sensemaking is followed.

The case study describes three episodes of collective sensemaking efforts of a winter storm by an inter-organizational team of coordinators managing the Dutch railway network. Our analysis exhibits how ambiguity shifts from intrinsic to constructed and how collective sensemaking changes from shared via negotiated and back to seemingly shared when emergency measures become unavoidable. Collective sensemaking is commonly shared when the situation is intrinsically ambiguous (it is unclear what the weather will be like) and collective sense is negotiated when ambiguity is constructed (there will be a storm but there are different interpretations of its consequences). The duality of ambiguity (Sillince et al., 2012) entails that sometimes actors aim to resolve ambiguity and sometimes enact ambiguity instead. Whereas in some instances intrinsic ambiguity is resolved through shared collective sensemaking, in other instances constructed ambiguity is precisely the enabler of negotiated collective sense in situations of diverging interpretations.

From Psychology Wiki:

Sensemaking is central to the conceptual framework for military network-centric operations (NCO) espoused by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) (Gartska and Alberts, 2004). In a joint/coalition military environment, sensemaking is complicated by numerous technical, social, organizational, cultural, and operational factors. A central hypothesis of NCO, however, is that the quality of shared sensemaking and collaboration will be better in a “robustly networked” force than in a platform-centric force, empowering people to make better decisions. According to NCO theory, there is a mutually-reinforcing relationship among and between individual sensemaking, shared sensemaking, and collaboration.

In one application, sensemaking is approached as the ability or attempt to make sense of an ambiguous situation. More exactly, sensemaking is the process of creating situational awareness and understanding in situations of high complexity or uncertainty in order to make decisions. It is “a motivated, continuous effort to understand connections (which can be among people, places, and events) in order to anticipate their trajectories and act effectively” (Klein et al., 2006a).

In defense applications, sensemaking theorists have primarily focused on how shared awareness and understanding are developed within command and control (C2) organizations at the operational level. At the tactical level, individuals monitor and assess their immediate physical environment in order to predict where different elements will be in the next moment. At the operational level, where the situation is far broader, more complex and more uncertain, and evolves over hours and days, the organization must collectively make sense of enemy dispositions, intentions and capabilities, as well as anticipate the (often unintended) effects of own-force actions on a complex system of systems.

The Bill Nye and Ken Ham is a public debate that took place…. here’s why it fall short of sense-making, but close….zero-sum, etc… etc..,approximately%204.5%20billion%20years%20old.


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