Complexity Research

Complexity Research

How to use stories to manage change in complex adaptive environments.

“The advice I give to executives if they are picking up on negative stories is not to tell a story about why its wrong, but rather to go and take small actions that make those stories increasingly difficult to tell”

– Dave Snowden, Founder, Cognitive Edge

What is complexity research?

Horizons uses SenseMaker to gather and analyse stories of real-time, day-to-day experiences to facilitate improvement in complex environments. SenseMaker is the complexity research tool that enables not only the mass data collection of rich and deep descriptions of people’s experiences, but also uses a framework incorporating “triads” and “dyads” to allow participants to categorise what their stories mean to them.

The process starts with a SenseMaker survey (or a series of surveys) and ends with a Sensemaking workshop.

Why use SenseMaker?

  • Leaders, even those who regularly walk the floor, often don’t have access to what is really happening on the ground, which limits their ability to look at things as complex realities. Coal-face interaction is easily “gamed” (on both sides) and rarely provides information for sustainable change.
  • SenseMaker workshops use a variety of futures thinking tools to develop a shared understanding of what is really important for shifting towards a desirable future.

For more information contact Rosanna Hunt.

Find out how we’ve used SenseMaker previously: