Dave Snowden  Thinking
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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Dave Snowden
Two days ago (apologies for skipping a day) I said that I would pick up on the role of archetypes in narrative work.  I wrote a two-part article for ECO on the subject, featuring the work of Sonja and others in South Africa (where the technique was developed).  The article hasn’t moved over to our […]
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Dave Snowden
As I promised yesterday I want to pick up on the use of narrative in lessons learned, or more properly lessons learning processes.  The idea here is that looking backward is all well and good but what really matters is what learning is happening in the here and now. The whole point of learning lessons […]
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Dave Snowden
The  Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling were a key part of my formative years and I still refer to them on a regular basis.  The name comes from the fact that they had to be told just so by Kipling to his daughter.  They remain a delight to this day and there are whole […]
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Dave Snowden
Problems of diversity, inclusion and associated conflict pervade modern society.  To be honest they always did but we are more aware of them.  Also, those excluded from power, subjected to epistemic injustice, prejudice, and often violence are standing up, challenging orthodoxies, and asking difficult questions.  At the same time previous dominant groups can no longer […]
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Zhen Goh
In the past 2 weeks, I have been called into a few urgent conference calls with partners and clients. As a response to the Corona virus, and it’s spread, many of them (and ourselves) included have had their projects impacted.  In-person meetings, workshops and executive interviews have had to be cancelled, postponed and rethought. The […]
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Dave Snowden
Many years ago now I worked with anthropologist Beth Meriam to design an approach to cultural mapping using SenseMaker®.  The underlying paper can be read here.  It has been the basis of many a project since then with several variations.  In effect it has become the underlying Cynefin theory of culture in organisations and society. […]
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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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