A short one, and one aimed specifically at SenseMaker® users. If that isn’t you, skip this one – nothing to see here…
When I’m building SenseMaker® frameworks, there’s one multiple choice question that I almost always include – and when it’s not finally included, it’s because despite deploying my best persuasive powers the client doesn’t see the need.
The question is:
(The image is taken from the SenseMaker® Collector app on my iPhone)
When at the start of a SenseMaker® project, it looks like an unnecessary complication – but when analysing, it becomes really important. For instance:
From a cultural project we ran in North Africa last year, we can see roughly equal numbers of micro-narratives that feature each of the three dominant forms of justice – Reconciliation, Revenge and Deterrence. It's difficult to come to any conclusion from this.
With emotional intensity added, however, we get:
Now we can see that while all three may be equally common, Reconciliation is mostly positive – a good sign. Revenge is largely negative – again a good sign. More worryingly, Deterrence is also largely negative – not a good sign, as it implies that preventing people from doing bad or stupid things is not regarded as a good thing to do.
Similar elements crop up with customers' attitudes to different elements of a product or service – it's not enough to know which elements dominate, but essential to see whether they are positive or negative.
For SenseMaker® Explorer users, I use my emotional intensity question and drop it into the Legend box – then right-click on each answer to change the colour so that I have an emotional spectrum from dark green (very positive) to dark red (very negative). (Be aware that if you have a largely male audience, you may need to change from green to blue for positive, as red-green colour blindness will negate your careful presentation!)
Some colleagues prefer instead to a question with a list of feelings – angry, proud, sad, hopeful, etc – but my experience is that
- it's less easy to create a spectrum
- if people can choose multiple feelings, then any micro-narrative that has two answers is automatically grey
- it is entirely possible to have a positive story that makes one angry – the assumption that angry stories are always negative is a poor one