Sense-making

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Dr. Michele Williams

Sensemaking: The Overlooked Key to Leading through Chaos

Sensemaking involves pulling together disparate views to create a plausible understanding—a map—of the complexity around us, then testing the map so as to be able to refine it or, if necessary, abandon it and start anew. It allows us to understand a shifting world so as to be able to act effectively in it.

— Deborah Ancona, Michele Williams & Gisela Gerlach. The Overlooked Key to Leading through Chaos.
MIT Sloan Management Review, (FALL 2020)

The Leading through Chaos Quiz

Are you a Sensemaking Leader?  Find out which leadership strength reflects how you are likely to lead through chaos! This quiz provides a fun snapshot of your leadership strengths. For additional insight take one of our Four Capabilities Assessment.

The Overlooked Key to Leading Through Chaos

Managers who focus on developing sensemaking capabilities can make better decisions in a complex and unpredictable world.

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Sensemaking Assessments

Online tools for understanding and leveraging your leadership capabilities. 

Four Capabilities Self Assessment for Individuals and Organizations

This assessment is designed to help you take your leadership to the next level by integrating sensemaking along with other core leadership capabilities. The dimensions—Sensemaking, Relating, Visioning, and Inventing—are widely applicable across industries and cultures and widely used by MIT Sloan’s Leadership Center, Executive Education, MBA, and corporate consulting programs. It helps you, as a leader, to understand how your capabilities fit together. The latest version, adapted from the 360 assessment designed by Deborah Ancona and Michele Williams, addresses turbulent times by measuring specific action tendencies that may amplify or detract from your ability to leverage those capabilities in situations involving rapid change and uncertainty.

The Four Capabilities Assessment for Professional Develop in Organizations

This 360 degree assessment, powered by LearningBridge.com was designed by Deborah Ancona and Michele Williams to help you take your leadership to the next level by integrating sensemaking along with other core leadership capabilities. The dimensions—Sensemaking, Relating, Visioning, and Inventing—are widely applicable across industries and cultures and widely used by MIT Sloan’s Executive Education, MBA, and corporate consulting programs. It helps you, as a leader, to understand how you and others view your capabilities. The latest version addresses turbulent times by measuring specific action tendencies that may amplify or detract from your ability to leverage those capabilities in situations involving rapid change and uncertainty.

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