DL meetup: SenseMaking in the Digital environment


The fourth meetup focused on understanding methods for SenseMaking in the Digital environment.


Source: Fitness map type extract from SenseMaker, from Richard Atherton (FirstHuman)

Mike walked us through the approach of Sensing in Agendashift. First, we experienced the exploration phase using the FOTO exercise (from obstacles to outcomes). What are the barriers to the true north of having everybody working at the maximum of his or her abilities? Then, using a set of “Clean” questions, we turned the obstacles into desired outcomes. Additionally, the Agendashift survey proposes a set of curated prompts to extend the range of sensing. We consume the results in a variety of ways, best and weakest results, convergence and divergence of point-of-views, and "unbenchmarking" report pointing out unexpected results to standard patterns. All those are reasons for conversations to generate outcomes and are then mapped and prioritised.

Please see more about Agendashift».


Richard walked us through some Complexity Thinking, which I think is fair to say, made everybody’s head spin, as this was very thought-provoking. Richard did a great job at presenting the thinking while sympathising with our struggles to get our head around it. It was an excellent intro to dive into SenseMaker from Cognitive Edge. Why and how to gather narrative capture. Triads and Dyads, stone maps and how to interpret with narrative maps. Richard was able to give some examples of application that revealed unexpected information. Our take away was that, though this is an emerging tool, it brings a framework to explore qualitative sensing, reveal systemic information for decisions and observe main and weak signals alike. Start exploring with the tool feels like a good effort as organisations are getting on the journey of Complexity Thinking.

Please see more about FirstHuman».


Our starting statement was that both tools were very worthwhile and we are seeing them even more complementary rather than competing after the talks.


Please see a download of the decks and videos (from SkillsMatter) at:

  • Richard Atherton (FirstHuman): SenseMaking, an A Posteriori approach - Slides » and Video »

  • Mike Burrows (Agendashift): Agendashift as a way of sensing an operation and its agility - Slides » and Video »



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