In this paper we introduce a new generation of sensemaking tools that are able to imprint organizational values, qualities, and skills, assess their compatibility with the corporate vision or their adequacy for a specific change and depict organizational archetypes. The main advantage of these tools derives from their ability to deliver reliable, tangible and contextual information on intangible assets and ambiguous issues. For this, they use archetypal models to structure their content, complex emergent methods to collect data, common logic rules to assess them and geometric templates to visualize the results. This combination permits easy contextualization of the content, authentic and real life representing data, removal of biases, as well as meaningful and comparable deliverables. The experience from the development and implementation of such a relevant tool shows that a structured approach to emergence and self-organization is feasible and fruitful. This opens new perspectives for the objectivity, wider acceptance and transferability of findings in qualitative research and the creation of effective diagnostic tools to be used especially in complex and transitional contexts.
In transition times leaders should be aware of the hidden and intangible assets of their organizations or communities. While linear—analytical assessment tools face major difficulties in meeting this challenge, we suggest that the use of archetypal models as knowledge systems can be of help. A new tool, based on the use of geometrical patterns and aiming to reveal and assess a system’s capacity and maturity for change, is presented here.