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Dave Snowden
Many moons ago, in the early days of my work in knowledge management one of the standard approaches was to conduct a knowledge audit.  I was never happy with the standard approach here which generally involved a lot of workshops and interviews, considerable retrospective coherence, many a platitude, and all too much evidence of inattentional […]
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Sonja Blignaut
In 1990, from a distance of more than 6 billion kilometres away, the Voyager 1 spacecraft took a now-iconic picture of our planet. The image of earth caught as a tiny “dot” suspended like a mote of dust in a ray of light, inspired Carl Sagan to write:   “It has been said that astronomy […]
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Dave Snowden
Remember Nurse Ratched in One Flew over the Cookoo’s Nest? Louise Fletcher won the Oscar for a brilliant portrayal of the emotionally and empathetically unconnected expert who always knows best. Last weekend I had the privilege of acting as native guide to Gary Klein and his wife Helen, starting with a walk in the Brecon […]
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Dave Snowden
I’ve been using this slide for some years ever since it emerged from a conversation between Max Boisot and myself in a cafe in Sitges. When I stayed with him we used to walk down to the town and use the paper tablecloths as an exploratory space. Given that I drank wine and he refrained […]
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Dave Snowden
I’m bringing this series to an end in a storm blown cottage in North Wales. All part of training for the Annapurna circuit at the end of March with daughter. We booked the week to coincide with some work at Bangor and my vision of the week was clearing work early morning and evening with […]
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Michael Cheveldave
One of the aspects of sense-making we emphasize in all our training programmes is the value of contrast. Since complex systems are inherently unordered, without any underlying repeating structure, their is no absolute baseline or reference. Hence contrasting from differences in the system (I.e. perspective, context, location, etc.) provides an effective means of making sense. […]
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Dave Snowden
Having set the scene with a general introduction in my first one and a mild polemic in the second I want to move on in the remaining posts in this series to look at formal methods and tools before concluding. That will mean dropping down a level in understanding the knowledge in play and moving […]
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Dave Snowden
It is no coincidence that I am using images from medieval apprenticeships in this series of posts. The apprentice model remains one of the most effective means of knowledge evolution that the human race as devizes. Note I say evolution not capture;knowledge in apprentice model is not transferred intact, it mutates and changes within a […]
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Dave Snowden
One of the hardy annuals used to justify knowledge management programmes is the problem of the ageing workforce. Equally persistent, to the point of perversion, are the subsequent imposition of solutions based on codification. Nothing wrong with that in the obvious domain of Cynefin and at least a part of the complicated domain but to […]
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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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Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.

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