Leading Blog






03.13.14

The Moment of Clarity

Clarity
In a time of turbulence and uncertainty finding clarity and direction is the job of the leader. To make this happen, authors Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel Rasmussen argue in The Moment of Clarity, we more often than not rely upon traditional, hypothesis driven, quantitative, and linear, decision making. This works well when there is a well-established relationship between cause and effect. But creating and seeing ahead into unchartered territory require a different kind of leadership skill: sensemaking.

While still clear on goals and priorities, sensemaking requires “the ability to lead open-ended discovery, to sense both soft and hard data, to use your judgment skills, to connect the dots, and to see the big picture in a vast ocean of sometimes conflicting data.”
When it comes to cultural shifts, the use of hypothesis based on past examples will give us false sense of confidence, sending us astray into unknown waters with the wrong map.
Sensemaking leaders have three fundamental characteristics:
  1. Sensemakers care deeply about the products and services they make and the meaning that these offerings create for people.
  2. Sensemakers have a strong perspective on their business—a perspective that stretches beyond the current time horizon and the current company boundaries.
  3. Sensemakers are good at connecting different worlds inside the company. An organization should have a diverse set of skills to understand the big idea, translate it into action, and maintain the operation.
The key takeaway from the book is this: getting people right is the key to taking your business out of a fog. We base our business decisions on the assumption that human beings are aware of our decisions and base them on rational thinking and predefined, immutable preferences. When in fact, many of people’s choices are made below their threshold of awareness. Many are based on mood and social interests. Yet we think that “if we only ask the right questions, design the right algorithms, analyze the right data set, then we will truly understand why our consumers behave the way they do.”

Sensemaking provides a way to makes decisions based on understanding people as they are.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:46 PM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Problem Solving



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