Mary Lee Kennedy is at the helm for this month's AOK Star Series discussion. She is the former director of Microsoft's Knowledge Network group and is now at TKG Consulting and the Harvard Business School.
Sense-making or sensemaking (as some write it) appears to be one of those topics that "everyone" is talking about while there has obviously been a lot going on in some circles for decades. As a practitioner I have sought to understand the impact of sense-making in the context of reducing ambiguity, i.e., increasing the ability to take actions informed by it, that result in a greater degree of success than is possible without it. This last part is important - in practice there is an expectation that one has the ability to visibly demonstrate that with an explicitly defined and applied sense-making exercise the organization is in a more advantageous position or when not in a competitive situation, leads to new knowledge that is considered of value. Like so much in human behavior - a sense-making initiative can be perceived as a "no-brainer" or commonly expected behavior and I have also seen the opposite - where it is overwhelming or so foreign that the organization does not know what to do with it.