In yesterday’s post I looked at my decision to use constraints in the definition of the main Cynefin domains. I talked about those in the content of explains dynamics, the shifts between domains which are as if not more important than the domains. In Complex Acts of Knowing I used various dynamics to handle the instantiation of an informal community as official in the context of need and as a means of understanding when to use (the then popular) Communities of Practice or Intranets. Later in New Dynamics of Strategy Cynthia and I indulged ourselves over several conversations creating multiple dynamics. Later I focused back to the original three KM dynamics (albeit in a wider context) and more recently I have started to use what I call the Grazing Dynamic; a representation of near continuous change with little stabilisation.
Critical to this is the difference between enabling and governing constraints. Yesterday I used the endoskeleton v exoskeleton metaphor to explain that. For a more practical example think of heuristics and rules. Rules are governing constraints, they set limits to action, they contain all possible instances of action. In contrast heuristics are enabling constraints, they provide measurable guidance which can adapt to the unknowable unknowns. So to take the US Marines example: when the battlefield plan breaks down then Capture the high ground, stay in touch, keep moving. It is always worth reminding people that a heuristic is not a principle. Many actions can be justified by interpreting a principle, but a heuristic allows you to measure absolutely if you have compliance.
So given that lets look at the dynamics:
So by explaining those shifts in the context of changing constraints I avoided associations with hierarchy that people (wrongly) read into the tetrahedrons. It also opened up other possibilities to make operation in each domain and between domains simpler. More on that in future posts.
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