Based on his work at some of the world's largest companies, including Ford, Adidas, and Chanel, Christian Madsbjerg's Sensemaking is a provocative stand against the tyranny of big data and scientism and an urgent, overdue defense of human intelligence.
Humans have become subservient to algorithms. Every day brings a new Moneyball fix - a math whiz who will crack open an industry with clean, fact-based analysis rather than human intuition and experience. As a result we have stopped thinking. Machines do it for us.
Christian Madsbjerg argues that our fixation with data often masks stunning deficiencies, and the risks for humankind are enormous. Blind devotion to number crunching imperils our businesses, our educations, our governments, and our life savings. Too many companies have lost touch with the humanity of their customers while marginalizing workers with liberal arts-based skills. Contrary to popular thinking, Madsbjerg shows how many of today's biggest success stories stem not from "quant" thinking but from deep, nuanced engagement with culture, language, and history. He calls his method sensemaking.
In this landmark book, Madsbjerg lays out five principles for how business leaders, entrepreneurs, and individuals can use it to solve their thorniest problems. He profiles companies using sensemaking to connect with new customers and takes listeners inside the work process of sensemaking "connoisseurs" like investor George Soros, architect Bjarke Ingels, and others.
Both practical and philosophical, Sensemaking is a powerful rejoinder to corporate groupthink and an indispensable resource for leaders and innovators who want to stand out from the pack.
"Many have decried the widespread conclusion that the humanities have lost relevance, but few have proposed how to respond. Offering neither a rearguard defense of the humanities as we have known them, nor an unrealistic plea to other fields simply to take them seriously, Christian Madsbjerg offers a ringing endorsement of how humanities knowledge is still critically necessary to make sense of the world and its problems. With roots in Aristotle, Sensemaking calls on humanists to reinterpret their contribution while showing others how they cannot do without it. It is a book of the first importance." (Samuel Moyn, author of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History; and Jeremiah Smith, junior professor of law and professor of history, Harvard University)
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