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Russell Gonnering
This past week we discussed the Flexner Report and its impact on the last century of health care, medical practice and medical education. We also explored how this fit into David’s Charles Handy S-curves of utility of various paradigms in the broader perspective of organizational management. The February issue of Academic Medicine is devoted to […]
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Russell Gonnering
I appreciate the opportunity to be the guest blogger on this site the past two weeks. The comments from the readers have been excellent! We need to make sure that ideas of Cognitive Edge are made known to the individuals in health care who now stand at the brink of making significant improvements in the […]
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Russell Gonnering
Thirty years ago, an attachment that became known as the “Capability Manifesto” was published in the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce Journal http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/heca/manifesto. This crystalized a philosophy, the Capability Movement, that proved to be a long lived branching in how higher education viewed itself and its role. Now, somewhat late […]
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Russell Gonnering
The comments shared yesterday from a well-respected Dean of a medical school highlight a collision of ideas. On the one hand, we have Complexity Theory attempting to “make sense” out of the complex problems in health care. On the other hand, we have another powerful force, “disruptive innovation”, that maximizes value out of simplification of […]
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Russell Gonnering
I have asked some of my colleagues to read this blog and offer their comments. The following comes from one of the brightest thinkers in medical education I know. He is the Dean of a medical school, and I have always respected his judgement. His comments have some important implications. I ask you to read […]
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Russell Gonnering
Yesterday we explored how recognition of the importance of attractors allowed the Plexus Institute to produce nonlinear positive results in the reduction of MRSA in health care settings. Complexity Theory really works! How can organizations amplify attractors and increase their productivity, effectiveness and have enjoyment in the process? No, you’re not dreaming. It’s a “tribal” […]
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Russell Gonnering
Marian Zeitlin, Jerry Sternin and his wife, Monique are, without a doubt, true geniuses. I would urge all of you to read their stories: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/41/sternin.html They are stories of simple realizations that, once implemented, had massive nonlinear results. To anyone interested in understanding an “attractor” and how amplification of a positive attractor can have immense […]
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Russell Gonnering
In the last blog post, we took a look at the results obtained by Safeway: an effective 40% reduction in cost and high patient satisfaction. Smoking and obesity in their employees is 70% the national average. All the more remarkable, this was done without any direct intervention in the delivery of “medical” care. No mandates […]
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Russell Gonnering
Yesterday, I briefly discussed evidence based medicine. I hope I left you with the understanding that I firmly believe in EBL, but I believe in it as a tool, not an end in itself. In “Complicated and Complex Systems: What Would Successful Reform of Medicare Look Like” (Changing Health Care in Canada: The Romanow Papers, […]
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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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