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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 readers 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.

About the Author

Christian Madsbjerg

Christian Madsbjerg founded ReD Associates - a strategic innovation consultancy - with a group of likeminded people in 2007. He is the author of books on social theory and discourse analysis. Christian studied philosophy and political science in Copenhagen and London. The book 'The Moment of Clarity - Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Hardest Business Problems' will be published on Harvard Business Review Press February 2014. He lives in New York City.


Harvard Business Review blog: Big data's dilemma
To address a more complex problem frame, you need a more complex piece of technology. In these situations, an algorithmic business model based on Big Data analytics -- if this, then that -- is not going to provide you with the greater insight or perspective.

Businessweek: Big Data Gets the Algorithms Right but the People Wrong
Without critical thinking skills, Big Data will never reveal patterns that have strategic value. Businesses need to cultivate the interpretive skills of their management teams. By Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen

Bloomberg TV: Where is the money going to in education
Former Bain Capital partner Ed Conard and Red Associates Partner Christian Madsbjerg discuss the allocation of government money to education with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart."

Washington post: We need more humanities majors
The humanities are not in crisis. We need humanities majors more now than before to strengthen competitiveness and improve products and services. We have a veritable goldmine on our hands. But, in order for that to happen, we need the two cultures of business and the humanities to meet. The best place to start is collaboration between companies and universities on a research level -- something that ought to be at the top of the minds of both research institutions and R&D departments in the coming decade. By Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen

Fortune magazine: Why the humanities need to be saved
Who needs the humanities? The answer: We all do, including every American business leader who has even a shred of ambition. By Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen

The Atlantic: Anthropology inc.
"The corporate anthropology that ReD and a few others ar

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