The art of making sense


How do we as humans, break barriers, trying to reach out to make sense? Human collaboration, always tax negotiations and mutual agreement, and a participatory approach. Codified knowledge, have since our first ancestors walked on the face of the Earth, been leaving traces, being means to store narratives to be shared as continuous learning within the community or tight knitted social network. We need to build trust and belonging.

When different members of different communities share information, using boundary objects, there are always a risk that information gets lost in translation, since we add different meaning to shared concepts. Sensemaking occur, when the narrative and shared concepts bridge the linguistic uncertainty.

In a workplace setting, it is a core necessity to share, mission, goals, processes, practices and values along with controlled vocabularies. Meaning deciphered into coded rules of utility and application. A organisation is a set of rules that bind a group of humans together into shared organising principles. To organise, things, tasks and people.

Hunters-gatherers societies where foraging and collecting was key, stay in contrast to the agricultural societies where governance, cultivation and domestication of resources are means for a sustainable society. The shift into the industrial era, focused on automation and resource management. Hence having processes efficient and smooth. In a modern society, organising will capture all of these previous notions of grouping, since we both need to be attentive and competitive to survive and be agile to quick shifts, and in the same time govern and cultivate the resources at hand. And lastly automate as much as possible.

Knowledge intensive work practices, as most professionals subscribe to today, use organising systems (often digital) to codify knowledge, in record keeping. Where a collection of resources have been organised according some design principles and intention. When shift happens, as our society today change in an ever faster pace, these legacy systems break when new interaction models and uses are needed.

We all like a well organised workplace setting, where all things are easy to find, tools and resources have their place and shared utility, and our shared practices to keep our workplace safe and useful, we keep it clean and tidy. As with the 5S principles. If we do not help out keeping our workplace in a good shape, we end up in a digital landfill.

Human messines, will alway persist, and given that fact we need to apply mechanics as automation and augmentation for all knowledge work, to decrease information overload, erroneous knowledge codification. Helpers, to connect the dots, adding meaning and semantics, translators. So that all content provision and uses within the organisation will be better concerted. That also implies using governance and rules applied, as data vacuum cleaners, keeping the workplace tidy and well organised. Help us make sense!

Me, talking about sensemaking in the digital workplace


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