Sensemaking

Making Sense, Making Meaning, Taking Action

Going beyond admiring the problem, and forcefully advocating preferred positions, to reaching enough agreement to take action.

 Complex issues and social systems defy traditional analytic and problem solving techniques; they are

  • networks of multiple interacting causes that cannot be individually distinguished​
  • open, irreversible, non linear, non deterministic, and context dependent
  • small inputs may lead to disproportionate effects
  • dynamic​.

Interventions merge and integrate, and can become new issues.

And the implications of this?    Traditional management tools and methods are not effective.

And so…

The methods, tools and processes we use are specifically designed to make sense, make meaning and take action in complex social contexts..

Tools and methods that

  • Collect data about the current context
  • Enable conversations that embrace diverse views, multiple interpretations, emergent options and possibilities
  • Do not presuppose ‘right’ answers
  • Ensure that the people within the system generate, make sense, and make meaning of the data, take agreed action, progressively and dynamically monitor the impact and act accordingly.
  • Build the capability of participants

We are informed by the work of a broad range of writers, thinkers and practitioners.  Congruence and consistency with the principles of social complexity underpin what we use and how we work.

A preferred partner with Cognitive Edge, Complexability practitioners have used the methods developed by them in a wide variety of contexts. In particular

Cynefin® Complexity Decision Framework

  • The Cynefin® framework helps understand challenges and to make decisions in context.
  • It is used extensively in many different contexts for sensemaking and decision support

SenseMaker® “For actionable insights beyond focus groups and surveys”

This data collection and visualisation tool engages a diversity of human perspectives to make sense of complex challenges.  The narratives are powerful and persuasive, supported by the evidence of numbers.

Complexability practitioners have over a decade of experience in the design and implementation of SenseMaker®  projects including

  • Impact evaluation: leadership development, international aid, service delivery,
  • Organisational Culture: electricity generation, defence, education,
  • Social Research: Mental health, youth engagement, diabetes, volunteering
  • Customer Feedback: Aged care, multicultural services.

Let’s Talk

Sensemaking Cynefin framework