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More on sensemaking

Posted by  Mark Schenk —May 18, 2007
Filed in Business storytelling

We recently blogged about the benefits of making sense of stories. Last week we needed to explain to a client why participation in the sensemaking process was important, both from a collective and an individual perspective. Some of our thoughts are shared below.

Sensemaking is a process designed to enable groups of people to see patterns that were once hidden to them and develop a common understanding of what is required to address an issue. While the sensemaking (and subsequent intervention design) process will result in the production of artefacts (reports, lists of action items, descriptions of the current situation etc) much of the value is derived through participation in the process. It is not a process where you say ‘make sense of this and tell me the answer’. Much of the benefit comes from determining ‘what it means’ for yourself. Sensemaking is beneficial at an individual level as our values and assumptions are tested and either confirmed or found wanting. Either way, participants are more effective in the workplace through the insights provided by participating in the sensemaking workshop.

One of the critical inputs to the sensemaking process is the experience, knowledge and perspectives of the various stakeholders. It provides an opportunity for an unhindered look at the experiences of participants and the gaining of new and valuable insights into the state of the system under examination; what is working and what isn’t, and the implications moving forward.

Mark Schenk About  Mark Schenk

Mark works globally with senior leadership teams to improve their ability to communicate clearly and memorably. He has been a Director of Anecdote since 2004 and helped the company grow into one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultancies. Connect with Mark on:

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