Getting started with a sensemaking practice can be daunting. While the Seek > Sense > Share framework is simple to understand, putting it into an everyday context can be difficult. Let’s get some advice from people who have been using the personal knowledge mastery conceptual model. For example, Nadia von Holzen likens seeking to fishing, sensemaking to cooking, and sharing to inviting people to dinner. It’s a great metaphor.
To begin with, ask yourself what value you can add for your co-workers, clients, peers, and even yourself at some later date. But don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. An essential element of PKM is to do ‘something’. As Tim Kastelle says, “the biggest gap is between those doing nothing and those doing something”.
While it’s good to have a trusted knowledge network, Jane Hart recommends — “Although I trust my network to feed me valid resources, it is always important to check any resources personally to ensure they meet my own high ‘quality control’ standards.” Fact-checking is one way of adding value.
After coming across new information, Tom Spiglanin asks the following questions:
Does it make sense?
How does it fit with what I currently believe?
Are there hidden biases?
Is it rooted in experience or research?
Ben McMann integrated his learning with his ongoing work, sharing with co-workers.
“I also deliver presentations during our company knowledge sharing lunches – some recent topics have been running design sprints for projects and facilitating workshops utilizing innovation game techniques to speed requirements gathering. I then utilize my internal blog to expand on these topics in greater detail.”
Sacha Chua uses drawing — to explore her thoughts — as a form of sensemaking.
Here is how Nick Leffler made sense of a conference he attended — “I started with a first hand experience at the conference. I then documented and immediately synthesized via Twitter. Finally, I am reflecting to write this post.”
A good example of a weekly routine, including tasks and time allocated, comes from Kate Ensor — 30 minutes per day on seeking, 2-3 hours per week on sensemaking, and 30-60 minutes per week for sharing.
Next: PKM in Action. Part 2