Sensemaking is the practice of interpreting disparate sources of observed information. As a part of this process, you can engage either in analysis—the deductively applying an existing mental model to the data—or synthesis, the inductive creation of new mental models based on the available information. But applying an existing mental model is unlikely to produce a winning strategy. As Cedric Chin argues, deductive analysis cannot produce the level of differentiated insight required to develop a defensible moat. An existing mental model that is known to you is likely known to others; therefore, it's a predictable strategy. This is why strategy is about developing perspective. A winning strategy comes from a unique perspective, not applying existing strategies; once a strategy is known, it loses its potency as a sustainable advantage.
- ¶ OODA Loop
- Rationalistic models of human behaviour are limiting
- Qualitative research creates mental models about the problem space.
- Perspective is the most important differentiator
Chin, Cedric. “Much Ado About The OODA Loop.” Commonplace - The Commoncog Blog (blog), May 19, 2020. https://commoncog.com/blog/much-ado-about-the-ooda-loop/.
Chin, Cedric. “Good Synthesis Is the Start of Good Sensemaking.” Commonplace - The Commoncog Blog (blog), May 26, 2020. https://commoncog.com/blog/good-synthesis-adapting-to-uncertainty/.