Making Sense of Sensemaking

Peter Jones Sensemaking, Wu Wei

Dr. Brenda Dervin presented a lecture and workshop at University of Toronto’s KMDI, kicking off the Making Sense Of series led by professor Peter Pennefather, KMDI outreach director. Peter and I hosted Brenda as befitting this first session in a series of workshops on “how we make sense” in several different domains. What’s new is the focus on new forms of media for aiding sensemaking. Brenda is Professor of Communications at OSU and one of the founding thinkers of sense-making, along with Karl Weick. Their 1980’s work developed theory and cases for how people individually (Dervin) and organizationally (Weick) make explanatory sense of situations in everyday life and breakdowns. Newer contributors to the sensemaking literature Gary Klein, Dave Snowden, and the PARC (now Google) team of Russell, Stefik, Car, Pirolli have contributed versions that extend their prior work in cognitive science. In Dervin’s lecture she explicated each contributor to the canon from the perspective of her recent publication in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences. While there are other authors contributing to the discourse, Dervin finds these are the …

Making Sense of Sensemaking with Dr. Brenda Dervin

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Sensemaking, Wu Wei

Sense-making in Collaborative Practice: Can Media Design Support Sensemaking in Professional Practice Collaboration and Decision Making? This conversational workshop is designed as a “dialogue” between a panel of 5 question-askers and Dr. Brenda Dervin. The framing for the conversation has been developed by the panelists. Through a series of questions and answers, Dr. Dervin will attempt to build a bridge between her approach to Sense?Making Methodology and the different approaches to sense-making/sensemaking that ground the panelists’ questions. We envision a two-hour workshop-conversation inviting researchers and practitioners working in problems information seeking, interprofessional practice development, and other joint decision making challenges. Why has sense?making/sensemaking recently emerged as a lens through which we describe human experience with information, decision making, and complexity? Haven’t people always tried to “make sense?” If so, what have we learned from our attempts to describe the phenomenon of sensemaking in research and practice? Multiple disciplines have recognized a need to describe the human experience of coping, struggling with, working around, and making decisions in situations where complexity reigns. The lessons learned from such experiences are not simple …

Collaborative Sensemaking & the Irreducible Burdens of Healthcare Information

Peter Jones Wu Wei

Are EHRs (Electronic Health Records) Error Inducing Machines? Thanks to Brady Anderson on the Design for Care community site who alerted us to Dr. Christine Sinsky’s “eNirvana – Are we There Yet?” I believe we are “not yet there.”  As long as the Medicare specification known as “meaningful use “criteria ignores design, usability, and the propensity for foreseeable error, we are not even close. The key quote from Sinsky illustrates the problem from the point of care and clinical use: While Google Desktop Gadgets make access to information as unfettered as possible, HIT systems often sequester individual tidbits of information at the ends of nonintuitive labyrinths, with needless hurdles along the way. Clinicians need clear access to priority information, not an obstacle course. As an EHR user, I have to keep a thought in mind until, five clicks and two screens later, I can find related information. Then, I have to park all of this developing thought for four more clicks, three screens and a slow download until I get to the screen where I can take action. Repeat this …

Dialogue is collectively making sense of things.

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Wu Wei

Design with Dialogue, our Toronto community of practice, is moving into its 20th month of regular sessions at OCAD’s Strategic Innovation Lab. Our new website shows current and upcoming events, and we’ll update the archives from the old site soon enough. We are making new connections between dialogic group communication, design problem solving, facilitated consultation, and sensemaking. Dialogue & Collective Sensemaking View more presentations from Peter Jones. Recent posts have perhaps tipped any reader to what I believe to be pressing concerns. While I have opinions and ideas about open innovation, the viability of the iPad in healthcare and educations, creating new ecosystems for local innovation, the marriage of systems thinking with design practices, and so forth, I’m not sure I’m contributing to solutions discussing what’s popular. I’m more interested in how committed collectives of people – as in organizations and mixed stakeholder groups – might find breakthroughs in problem understanding and collective action. The practices of sensemaking (Dervin, Klein, Weick) are called for to manage these complex situations, but do we know how to make sense together? Technologies of …