About this Course

This course is for professionals who help organizations and communities address complex human challenges—internal and external Organizational Development consultants, HR leaders and consultants, market researchers, Agile coaches, ethnographers, community engagement specialists. Shared by these professionals is the need to help their clients make sense of VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) issues that require wise decisions to be made and meaningful action to be taken.
This becomes especially problematic at scale--when the human system in view concerns dozens to tens or even hundreds of thousands of individuals. What is needed is a methodology that respects and leverages the natural human sensemaking processes, while at the same time providing actionable data at scale. The Spryng.io platform with its Active Sensemaking tools provides this powerful methodology.
Intended for those who are new to Active Sensemaking and Spryng, the course will provide the knowledge and skills required to conduct Active Sensemaking initiatives using the Spryng.io platform. Upon completing the course, users will be able to carry out an Active Sensemaking initiative--from design to deployment to analysis. With these skills, users will be able to help their clients build solid foundations for wise decisions in messy and complex contexts at any scale.

What you will learn

A practical understanding of human sensemaking through stories
Active Sensemaking is built on the insight that we, as human beings, make sense of our lives and contexts through stories—we experience patterns and interpret them with ‘stories’. Active Sensemaking leverages this natural human sensemaking by allowing people to share and interpret their individual experiences.
Theory and practice needed to design Active Sensemaking instruments
Active Sensemaking involves creating a specific kind of inquiry instrument—a carefully designed questionnaire—that allows contributors to share relevant story/experiences and to provide the meaning of what they share through a unique set of interpretive questions. Spryng makes it possible to capture in the form of data how humans naturally make sense of life.
Theory and practice needed to analyze Active Sensemaking data
An Active Sensemaking inquiry yields a rich set of nuanced data that combines both qualitative data of the experiences and stories and quantitative data of interpretations provided by contributors. These data are kept connected and can be explored via the uniquely powerful but intuitive capabilities of the Spryng platform. Using Spryng’s data analysis tools, the two kinds of data can be cross-referenced and correlated, revealing patterns of meaning within the system being studied. Insight into these patterns provide levers of opportunity for shifting the system towards desired outcomes
A wealth of resources for managing and applying a Spryng Active Sensemaking initiative
These include tools and methods for building and facilitating stakeholder conversations involved in the creation, deployment, and analysis of an Active Sensemaking project, along with practical advice and good practice ideas.
Discover the critical importance of stories in making sense of difficult situations
Deepen your insights into participant meanings and their interpretations as key to understanding the patterns of their experiences. The participants are the expert interpreters of their own stories. In Active Sensemaking participant stories with their interpretations provide rich context and nuance, building a foundation for deep insights.
Learn Narrative inquiry
How to think about and process people’s stories as clues to a situation. Making sense of the stories as clues points to patterns that currently drive a situation. Gaining insights into the patterns helps discover ways to influence the system in a desired direction.
Encourage curiosity and learning in your organization
About complex systems and human limitations to perceive and understand them. Active Sensemaking and the platform are most useful to explore complex adaptive situations and systems. This will help you increase personal curiosity and humility to learn from people.
Use Spryng to scale sensemaking
How to use the Spryng.io Platform. The robust set of tools can meet practitioners’ needs to conduct effective Active Sensemaking studies at almost any scale. It enables even thousands of stories to be collected and analyzed to see what drives a situation, at a manageable cost.
Learn to build allies in the sensemaking endeavor
How to prepare and practice an Active Sensemaking study. You will learn about communicating and interacting well with different people in the situation, especially representative stakeholders. A well-focused study allows the team to learn what is happening simultaneously in many parts of the situation.
Learn to differentiate sensors and surveys
How to design the primary instrument, a Sensor, to collect people’s experiences as stories with the context and meaning intact. This is in contrast to surveys devoid of context and personal meaning from the participant and that too easily bias participant’s answers.
Learn to facilitate sensemaking in complexity
Ways to honor and help stakeholders describe important issues and concerns people carry in the situation. You will learn how to facilitate sessions with stakeholders. These insights from stakeholders frame the situation and the further design of a Sensor.
Learn to design and optimize sensors
How to craft the Sensor with prompting questions, signifiers, and demographic questions. An effective Sensor sets context for the situation, allows participants to compose authentic stories, ascribe meanings to their stories in the signifiers and other helpful information. Signifiers contain data that represent the participant’s meanings also used in Analysis.
Learn to design collections for maximum engagement
Strategies, methods, and tools to maximize the engagement of participants, to collect their stories. A successful Collection is the turning point of the study.
Learn to analyze and facilitate analysis of story data
How to analyze collected responses with the help of stakeholders. Stakeholders are best able to recognize and interpret relationships between collected responses. This will lead to making sense and discerning patterns that drive the situation.
Explore patterns of meaning and construct safe to fail probes and next wise actions
How to approach and explore patterns stakeholders found in Analysis to draw out insights for action. How to run safe-to-fail experiments and other probes to learn how the situation responds to influences. This will lead to learning what patterns to amplify and what patterns to dampen. You will learn ongoing initiative strategies and options to address a variety of situations and issues.
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Approx. 30 hours to complete

Skills you will gain

  • Sensemaking
  • Complex facilitation
  • Narrative inquiry
  • Clean question framing
  • Narrative data analysis
  • Strategy and policy
  • Safe-to-fail experiments
  • Data-driven decision making
  • Stakeholder engagement


  • You lead yourself in all aspects of pacing and use of the materials.
  • There are assignments where you will get individualized feedback on what you post. In addition, you can learn from and collaborate with other participants.
  • The course guides you through a sample initiative. You can replace that with a study situation of your own.
  • Immediately upon completing your registration and payment, you will receive log-in instructions.
  • You have access to the course materials for a minimum of three months.
  • Finish all modules and related assignments to receive a Completion Certificate.
  • After you purchase the course you will have a month to start the course.
  • After you start the course you will have 3 months to finish the course.

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week 1 Orientation Module
Week 1 Module 1 - Active Sensemaking
This module introduces you to what humans do with their lived experiences, and three perspectives of Sensemaking.
Week 2 Module 2 - Overview of the Sensemaking Process
This module introduces the seven phases of conducting an Active Sensemaking initiative, and the Spryng.io Platform.
Week 3 Module 3 - Starting an Active Sensemaking Initiative
This modules focuses on how to start an initiative and invite your team, following Active Sensemaking on the Spryng.io Platform.
Week 4 Module 4 - The Discovery Phase
This module starts you on the path to creating a sensor questionnaire for an initiative. Learn how to use the canvas on the Spryng.io Platform.
Week 5 Module 5 - The Design Phase
In this module, all prior insights are integrated into a carefully crafted instrument of inquiry, a sensor questionnaire.
Week 6 Module 6 - The Testing Phase
This module introduces how to test the sensor questionnaires that were created in the Design phase.
Week 7 Module 7 - The Collection Phase
This module introduces how to share sensor questionnaires with the population-of-interest.
Week 8 Module 8 - The Analysis Phase
This module introduces how to analyze the data and stories from the population-of-interest responses.
Week 9 Module 9 - Next Wise Actions
This module introduces how to determine and take next wise actions, based on insights from analysis.


“Sprynging into Action is like a gourmet nine course meal where you get to experience soup to yummy dessert.
Even better -- you are able to watch the skilled chefs perpare your Active Sensemaking meal, seeing all that is invloved. ”
“In the face of massive upheaval and uncertainties, wise leadership of our organizations and institutions has never been more critically important.
But the foundation of wise leadership is deep awareness and insight into context—a meaningful understanding of what’s going on.
Spryng offers a uniquely powerful methodology and effective tools that yield the awareness and insights needed to empower wise leadership decisions.
Complete with the ‘Sprynging into Action’ support resources, Spryng is ready to help you gain the information you need for your most challenging decisions. ”
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Shareable on

You can share your Course Certificates in the Certifications section of your LinkedIn profile, on printed resumes, CVs, or other documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I have access to the lectures and assignments?
Access to video and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course with the subscription, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to enroll in the course experience, during or after your audit.
What will I get if I purchase the Course?
When you purchase the course you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can subscribe to the platform.
More questions?