Sense-Making Approach to Change in Organizations

The ability to strive in the contemporary, highly competitive business environment is largely reliant on the capability of an organization to address and deal with change. Overall, change is an inevitable and immediate part of any activity or process. It might be internal or external, as well as independent or forced. However, regardless of the cause or manifestations, it is always a complex, multifaceted process that involves all organizational units and processes. Therefore, it is essential for organizational leadership to be aware of change management and have skills and strategies as to how to handle an enterprise at the time of change.

One of the most effective approaches to organizational change management is sense-making. This term is widely used in the management field and implies a decision-making mindset that is aimed at making sense of a situation in order to deal with it in an effective way. In particular, the sense-making approach denotes the view of a change as a set of elements of the unknown situation, which, when viewed from a structural perspective, become more approachable. Indeed, it is easier for an organization to comprehend and address simple, understandable problems one-step at a time rather than try to grasp the whole new and intimidating situation at once.

To illustrate the application of such an approach to practice, one might refer to the example of McDonald’s restaurants as the company dealt with the change due to COVID-19. With the pandemic’s restrictions on social interaction, the organization collected data on the options to preserve operations despite lockdowns. Further, the drive-through were initiated, deliveries were launched, and a mobile application was created to help customers get their food without risking their health.

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