Sensemaking for Personal and Professional Life

Organizations in constant movement, transformation and evolution will be able to make sense of the organization’s mission, values, activities and even challenges. In Sensemaking in Organization, Karl E. Weick discusses a sensemaking process with seven properties. These seven properties include (1) identity; (2) retrospective; (3) environments; (4) social activity; (5) ongoing assessment; (6) cues; and (7) plausibility. The application of these process properties requires organizations to move themselves towards a different frame of reference. There must be a certain mindset where organizations have a willingness to use one’s own life as data.

After reviewing the seven properties of the sensemaking process, I could easily connect each property to organizational life, culture, experience and leadership. This made me think of the invisible hand of a changing world and how without scanning no one will become aware of new directions. For example, there will be occasions for ambiguity, uncertainty, arguing, expecting, committing and manipulation. Organizations which are constantly moving, through assessment – alteration – application, will be able to structure environments that “comprehend, understand, explain, attribute, extrapolate, and predict” the dynamics of organizational life (Weick, p 4.). Unlike some references, I believe that everyday sensemaking is identical to organizational sensemaking and ask Whether your Personal and Professional Life if making sense?

AA