An all too brief visit to Halifax

January 27, 2009

P1010110.JPG A flying visit to the cold of Halifax, Novia Scotia was a good way to end this North American trip. The photograph is from a sculpture outside the arts centre where I ran a half day workshop earlier today. Its my second visit and both have been brief because this is a fascinating place. A major British Naval base from the 18th Century, or major importance during the war of 1812. In the last war it was the base where the convoys assembled before risking all to cross the Atlantic. The Corvettes which escorted them, immortalised in The Cruel Sea , are no more although I gather there are plans to create the last one floating as a museum piece in Halifax. The museum also has the largest collection of Titantic relics; most of the survivors and the bodies were brought here. The first morning steam from the sea as the sun came up (the air was at -20C) combined with the light was a wonderful wake up call. I planned to go out and capture it this morning but the temperature had changed and I was left to bemoan a lost opportunity.

I had a good set of meetings on day one, firstly with a senior management group and then a collection of people involved with the web, knowledge management and social computing. A drink and a meal in an Irish Pub with Ray (who had set the whole thing up) and Cindy was a pleasant end to the day. This morning, before dashing for the airport (Halifax to Manchester via JFK and London) I ran a half day workshop. Part I was on complexity in strategy and Part II on SenseMaker™ as a research tool. They key theme that taking a natural science perspective allows us to do more with less was well received. Also the possibility to radically reduce the cost of surveys and shift them to dynamic real time creators of knowledge also elicited a good response and some excellent questions. I’ll load the pod casts tomorrow. On that basis I hope to be back soon and have been promised a proper tour of The Citadel when I do. In an idle moment I tweeted on some half formed plans to set up a retreat on complexity and religion and got flooded with responses. I am going to have to blog that this week just to clear things up! For now its time to close down and head for the gate and AA100.

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


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