I’m pretty keen on SenseMaking as a key 21st century skill and I also use it as a main category I write under. In most posts where I use the category, I am writing or doodling (an integral part of the process) to make sense of things for myself and sharing it in case it helps others. I have written about it as a skill though and initially tried to make sense of SenseMaking. This post does more of the latter as I delve deeper with the help of a DanelDoodle.
First the DanelDoodle then some elaboration.
On the receiving end at the beginning of the funnel, a necessary step. We have to start with gathering information. But if we stay here too long, we get stuck, confused and lose the plot.
Here most of all we have mostly a jumble of facts. Maybe worthwhile in parts, but as a whole pretty useless.
Most people operate at this level – passing on facts and passing them off as knowledge.
This is where you start with the real process of making sense of facts.
Mostly it’s about organising the facts into some improved order. You structure the information you have received and convert it into some degree of knowledge.
The end result should be a knowing of what all the facts mean, in totality. That is, the collective meaning of all the facts and the impact they might have on actions. This last point, a conversion into something more meaningful that can culminate into improved behaviours, is deeply important.
The knowledge could simply take you to a deeper level of understanding, but this is less useful.
So true SenseMaking is when you convert all the knowledge and meaning into action and ideally a lived experience.
Then you are at the seeing stage, with your own senses you have learned, understood and acted on what you have learned and seen how this works.
I include the practical, experimental elements to this phase because I think it is what really brings knowledge to life. But it doesn’t have to be.
You can just see things better, more clearly. What a pity though don’t you think, if you can’t translate it into some that takes you beyond your starting point?