Sensemaking and wayfinding are critical skills for thriving in 2020 and beyond

sensemaking is the process of creating situational awareness amid uncertain and ambiguous situations while anticipating paths forward in order to effectively make decisions

Wayfinding is the process of orienting within new environments, navigating through space, and progressing towards desired destinations

Building capacity in both areas increases the likelihood of successful outcomes for those attempting to adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs and pressures of markets and workforces. For individuals, teams, and organizations, building these skills improves people’s ability to learn, which improves their ability to create the positive outcomes they’re working towards, whatever they may be.

Effective sensemaking and wayfinding are dependent on having strong foundational capabilities like flexibility, agility, and continuous improvement. As information is discovered and knowledge is built, short learning cycles enable faster iteration which increases the likelihood of success.

Contexts and needs are always shifting and evolving, sometimes overnight, so building capacity for rapid iteration and adaptation to the way teams operate is crucial for organizations to effectively navigate unforeseen situations such as what we’re living through right now in 2020.

For the independent professional, sensemaking and wayfinding are crucial skills for finding markets to serve, evolving service offerings, and creating opportunities out of thin air.

One way to start exploring both practices is by creating maps and/or blueprints of journeys and systems you’re working within. While it’s important to remember journey maps are tools not outcomes, they can be incredibly useful when it comes to help you make sense of complexity and find your way amid ambiguity.

Another way is to explore zoom-in-zoom-out thinking to help generate novel ideasand build a web of thinking.

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