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Dave Snowden  Thinking
Dave Snowden
The importance of narrative in understanding human systems has been a large part of my work for over twenty-five years.  In the Twelvetide series of 2020, I looked at the history of our use of narrative and some of the current applications.  You can find the first of those posts here.  I don’t plan to repeat […]
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Dave Snowden
For the first substantive post in this series, I wanted to pick up one of the more controversial elements of human systems namely the pervasive nature of religious ideas/ideology; which is not the same thing as a formal religion.  There are arguments in evolutionary psychology (I’ll try and find the paper and reference it later) […]
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Dave Snowden
The emerging plan for this year’s series was to look at the various unique aspects of human complex systems: a working title would be humans are not ants.  As I started drafting the opening blog yesterday I decided it was time to summarise the various Christmas, now Twelvetide, blog series I have been writing since 2009. […]
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Dave Snowden
I promised to complete the decision series before the Twelvetide blog sequence starts up tomorrow so this is it.  The first post was written after my keynote at KM World last month talking about the context of decision-making with references to the three main decision-support frameworks within the Cynefin ecosystem.  I added a link to […]
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Dave Snowden
Over the last year or so I’ve been reviewing some of the original knowledge management (KM) work from twenty-plus years ago and the illustration to the left is from the introduction to the CBI Handbook on KM which I edited in IBM days after my first meeting with Max Boisot at Warwick University.  Students of […]
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Dave Snowden
I’ve just listened to a three plus hours discussion with Jean Bolton on complexity, recorded for the Open University.  I first met Jean through Peter Allen in the great days of the UK-based IBM Complexity Group which included Peter, Brian Godwin, Paul Cilliers, Jack Cohen, Max Boisot, Pierpaolo Andriani, Yasmin Merali, Mike Lissack and several […]
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Dave Snowden
Before I return to my decision series I wanted to get a little bit of polemic off my chest. One of the most frequently misused statements on social media is the phrase “Research shows” and it rarely if ever comes with any reference to said research.  I challenge the authors from time to time and […]
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Dave Snowden
This is a follow-up to my earlier post which used the metaphor of navigation to emphasise the importance of context for decision-making.  I then summarised the three frameworks that anchor the various Cynefin methods and tools, linking to the relevant blogs and a recent keynote at KM world which summarised all three.  I said there […]
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Dave Snowden
The Hexi packs around the EU Field Guide sold out much faster than we anticipated, and subsequent workshops and experiments using them have confirmed their power to engage people as well as to act as a form of extended memory which also extended the options available in programme design. The second edition will be out […]
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About the Cynefin Company

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.
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