Cynefin, pronounced kuh-nev-in, is a Welsh word that signifies the multiple, intertwined factors in our environment and our experience that influence us (how we think, interpret and act) in ways we can never fully understand.
The Cynefin Framework was developed to help leaders understand their challenges and to make decisions in context. By distinguishing different domains (the subsystems in which we operate), it recognises that our actions need to match the reality we find ourselves in through a process of sense-making. This helps leaders cultivate an awareness of what is really complex and what is not and respond accordingly so that no energy is wasted in overthinking the routine but they also never try to make the complex fit into standard solutions.
The Cynefin Framework is and has been used in almost every conceivable sector: whether strategy, police work, international development, public policy, military, counterterrorism, safety, energy, healthcare, sales or education it has had something to offer. In this video, Dave Snowden introduces the Cynefin framework with a brief explanation of its origin and evolution and a detailed discussion of its architecture and function.
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