Observation as a Key Sense-Making Skill

I’m currently completing Harold Jarche’s 40 Days to Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) program.  The program uses Harold’s Seek-Sense-Share PKM framework.  I’ve always been intrigued by the ‘Sense’ step – it’s struck me as a black art, the space between gathering information and sharing it as some form of mature, processed product where “magic happens”.

I’ve just completed an activity in Observation based on looking closely at my Twitter feed for the previous week in order to find patterns between people or connect seemingly separate ideas together. I was frustrated early in the activity and felt like giving in.  I persevered and concentrated, while seeking to keep an open mind.  And then, somehow, by sticking with this as a purposeful exercise, magic did indeed happen. If you’re curious about how I completed this exercise in observation and what I noticed take a look at this Storify post.

This experience demonstrated to me the value of slowing down and making time to really observe, explore, and think critically rather than just dipping in and out of a stream of information quickly and lightly.  Great exercise Harold – thank you!


  1. #1 by divergentlearning on February 28, 2017 - 1:39 pm

    Almost 3 years since you wrote this and now I’m doing the same exercise! I find myself often seeing patterns/connections within Twitter and LinkedIn feeds. Sometimes I think it’s like when you buy a Jeep and suddenly you start seeing them everywhere – so I “buy”a concept/topic that I’m interested in (I have a list of about 20 on my wall atm that I”m curating for) and once they’re on the wall, I start seeing them (or presumably key words) as I skim through my feeds. I do have to get better at the sharing part – sometimes things make it to my blog, but often they just become a brief Twitter dialogue which is interesting, but not really deep. I miss university breaks – hours to kill where you could just sit around and talk about ideas and make those connections and get deep into things!

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