One of my favourite quotes is:
“Where observation is concerned, chance favours only the prepared mind.” Louis Pasteur (1900)
Sensemaking is about preparing one’s mind. It starts with noticing things which are only noticeable when you’re prepared to see them. Our minds are prepared by a combination of experience and reflection. Take a look at this list of accidental discoveries. In each case it seems like a minor shift in perspective occurs for the discovery to be made. It seems to me, reading between the lines, that the discoverers where people who first had the ability (permission) to explore, an insatiable curiosity and through years of effort and persistence made a breakthrough. These conditions seem to be rare in organisations yet many leaders extol the virtues of innovation without preparing the environment for discovery.
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on: