• Building Sensemaking Capacity: Drawing Insights From Anthropological Thinking

    Matt Artz (see profile) , Uldarico Rex Dumdum
    Anthropology, Ethnology, Business
    Item Type:
    Meeting Title:
    2018 NABET
    Meeting Org.:
    Northeastern Association of Business, Economics, and Technology (NABET)
    Meeting Loc.:
    State College, PA
    Meeting Date:
    Sensemaking, design anthropology, Business Anthropology
    Permanent URL:
    Businesses, according to an IBM global study of 1500 CEOs, are facing a rapid escalation of complexity. Capitalizing on complexity and customer intimacy to create innovative ways of delivering value are business’ significant challenges. The study further revealed that “enterprises today are not equipped to cope effectively with this complexity in the global environment.” To help address this problem, we advocate drawing insights from anthropological thinking. Increasingly, traditional business practices are proving not fully adequate to identify, interpret and robustly understand implications of emerging developments. This is due to our tendency to often try to understand the problems we face based on what we already know, instead of seeking that which we truly do not, regardless if are trying to make sense of consumer markets, design products or lead a corporate culture. The value-add of drawing insights from anthropological thinking is found in its ability to help uncover unknown unknowns that exist and explain the “why.” To more effectively address the most pressing business problems and make better strategic decisions, we need to build sensemaking capacity to “make the strange familiar and the familiar strange” while developing empathy to understand humans and giving them a voice. This paper provides examples of successful corporate breakthroughs aided by insights drawn from anthropological thinking. It highlights how theories and methods of anthropology, particularly ethnography and phenomenology, can be applied to help develop a rich understanding of complex business situations. The paper also provides some suggestions for incorporating anthropological thinking towards building our sensemaking capacity.
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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    Item Name: pptx buildingsensemakingcapacity-drawinginsightsfromanthropologicalthinking-181105013557.pptx
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