More about sensemaking

Use sensemaking:

  • Instead of decsion-making research if your market and customers are changing
  • Instead of attitudinal research or motivational research if your product or service or complex
  • Instead of behavioural economics. Sensemaking projects are about how people actually behave in the real world not how they behave in experiments - which is where most of the behavioural economics theories originate. Sensemaking projects are non-judgmental. We don't say that people are flawed in their thinking. We say that people think the way they do to get things done in the best possible way they can at the time. Our job is to find out how they think.


CASE STUDY: Sensemaking explains the vegetarian experience perfectly


Take vegetarianism as an example. The vegetarian landscape is evolving rapidly, with the advent of plant-based foods. Becoming a vegetarian was always a big decision but now it has become more complicated. Our research based on sensemaking shows that becoming a vegetarian is not just a choice between different food products; it's a manifestation of someone's self-identity at a stage in their life. The decision to stop eating meat is only one part of it - vegetarians, pescatarians, flexitarians and others review and revise their diet on an alomost daily basis as they 'make sense of' how to balance their diet, their social beliefs and their social relationships. 


Three facts about sensemaking research


  1. Sensemaking projects are interview-based projects. 

  2. They are ethnographic in that they seek to understand the person's world in situ

  3. They are based on story-telling. When people want to make sense of what they are doing or bring sense to what just happened to them, they tell a story about it. So, we gain insight into how people make sense of their experiences by listening to how they talk about the actions they took.



Tags: Language, Making sense, sense-making, Decision Making