Making sense of change and complexity

If your market or category is changing, we can help you make sense of those changes. We do that by uncovering how your customers are making sense of it. We use deep qualitative research methods to do this.

While the ability to 'make sense' of our experiences is one of the most fundamental aspects of human cognition, people are not usually aware of this process. As social scientists, we know that people make sense of things by seeing patterns and interpreting what they see according to multiple factors: their emotions, their expectations, their social and cultural norms and their sense of identity. When the environment changes, people have to make sense of it all over again.  Humans do this naturally and without conscious awareness. That is why we need intensive qualitative research to explore and uncover these factors.

The sensemaking theory - and our experiences as researchers - tell us that people make sense of things by talking about them. That is why we have developed our sensemaking conversation technique.

We know that how people behave, think and feel is evolving all the time.  This is what it looks like:

  • Individual or paired conversations between your customer or user and a qualitative researcher highly trained in sensemaking techniques
  • These are conversations that follow a mentoring format.  They are very different from standard in-depth interviews - for example we use a map as our format rather than a topic guide. (Of course, clients have the opportunity to approve and modify all our material).
  • You will gain a deep understanding of your customers, users, members etc in terms of what they do and why. 

Sensemaking does not try to force-fit people's behaviour into a journey if it is not a journey (and not everything is) and it doesn't pretend that people 'make decisions' when in reality what they do is work things out as they go along.


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