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Dave Snowden
I was trying to remember when COVID started to impact me personally and touch wood despite lots of social contacts I either haven’t had it or didn’t notice if I did).  Yes, I was aware of it, and that awareness crept up slowly and remorselessly.  When it started it felt a little like SARS, not […]
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Nina Abrahams
Communicating and interacting with others is a funny thing. Even when we speak the same language, communicating is a hot bed for confusion and misunderstanding. What I write down here will likely be interpreted in slightly, and maybe in some cases majorly, different ways to my original intentions. However, communicating and understanding one another is […]
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Dave Snowden
From time to time someone, knowing my interest in narrative sends me a link to yet another website collecting people’s stories.  One popped up in slack as I was writing this offering a “magic formula” to change the world.  It has some powerful stories all carefully curated by the design team.  They are organised into […]
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Dave Snowden
I talked yesterday about metaphor-based languages and used Winnie the Pooh as an illustration.  That was part of a loose set of posts starting to develop and codify a more general theory of leadership from a sense-making and anthro-complexity perspective.  One of the key components of that theory is the idea of communication through engagement. […]
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Dave Snowden
You may be asking what connects the events on stardate 45047.2, the battlefield at Gettysburg (picture from October 2019 on a trip with good friends between conferences), and an illustration from chapter three of Winne the Pooh “In which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle”.  Or there again you may not, […]
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Dave Snowden
In yesterday’s post, I was concerned about both the abuse of power, and the effectiveness of confessional use of language.  The desire to compel people to put into words (generally the words of power in the facilitator’s culture and/or ideology) learning is problematic to say the least.  And the excuse of no one is compelled to […]
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Dave Snowden
A lot of the early work on narrative, which I summarised yesterday was largely based on instinct and common sense.  There was background theory – I focused on aesthetics and ethics when I studied Philosophy and I was formally trained in rhetoric at school and carried that forward into competitive debating at University and beyond. […]
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Dave Snowden
As I indicated yesterday my group in IBM UK got into the wider field of narrative through the process of knowledge discovery.  We found that collecting stories around decisions made allowed us to more effectively may what people knew by creating a meaningful context.  We also discovered that people journaling that experience was more effective […]
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Dave Snowden
In this second section, I am moving on to the wider field of narrative.    I wrote a paper on narrative and phenomenology while at University for a college seminar on feminism which got me into an over-intensive library period looking at archetypal story forms in different societies.  That involved a mixture of fascination and […]
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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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