In his essay Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites of Passage, the great anthropologist Victor Turner wrote, “as members of society, most of us see only what we expect to see, and what we expect to see is what we are conditioned to see when we have learned the definitions and classifications of […]
In 1979, the American psychologist J.J. Gibson published the book, “The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception”, in which he argued that, “knowing is an extension of perceiving” and that perceiving, “goes far beyond the sensory act of seeing”. In seeking to understand the question, “what is visual perception?”, Gibson came to the radical conclusion that […]
What are the nature of the threats we face in the 21st Century? Dave and I were at a defense conference on complexity and collapse recently, where senior intelligence, military, academic and business people debated this very question. One attendee told a story that stuck with me. He had been an intelligence advisor for almost […]
One of the main premises of the Agile software developments methods ist that software development is a complex domain, and not an ordered, production line type of system such as automobile manufacturing. Unfortunately, the typical Agilist perception of complexity is not quite aligned with any of the main scientific definitions of the term. Agile literature […]
Recently, I’ve been thinking about attractors. What are they? Where do they come from? Where do they go? And specifically, where does leadership fit in this picture? This the other morning I woke up with a strong desire for a cup of coffee. Getting coffee became a significant goal. Perhaps it was because of waking […]
Giving a talk next week on innovation and design thinking has me turning to Bill McDonough for inspiration. His work and words align well with what Cognitive Edge practitioners bring to our clients, so let me explore that a bit. Design = Intention What is our intention? Perhaps the greatest shift we bring to our […]
Clients are often more experienced in dealing with standard management consultants – who tend to have answers, predictable results (and processes) and models that fit current thinking. By the very nature of complexity approaches, those answers and results are unpredictable. But saying so does little to build confidence in clients’ eyes – for them they […]
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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