Designing our new web site

March 26, 2014

Two of the things that irritate me at conferences are Chairpeople who run over on time and then expect the speaker to reduce their time accordingly;  the other is speakers who spend time with corporate slides rather than getting on with their subject. So I am very aware that talking about Cognitive Edge as a company is not what people have come to hear. But there are times when it’s necessary and with our new web site currently in the commissioning stage, finding a succinct way to say what Cognitive Edge is about has become important so I have been trying a few things out to see what works.

The new web site is key as the current one is difficult to navigate, expensive to maintain and generally not fit for purpose. For those interested some years ago the redesign of the site focused on the network and completely forgot about the What is Cognitive Edge and SenseMaker®.  So when I first reviewed it we had to hastily add a skin to the new site and create a temporary one for SenseMaker®.  This time I have been actively involved and over the next three days I plan a series of blog posts to allow me to reflect on the content of the site and also to invite comments and questions. We are also doing a few barter deals with marketing and design experts who want to contribute so feel free to volunteer!

I need to complete this by the weekend as the blog will then be taken up with a sequence of seven posts from my 60th birthday week. I have booked a small cottage in Snowdonia and plan to walk the mountains of my youth every day. Fate also means that the Welsh National Opera are performing a Fallen Women series in Llandudno on three successive evenings so I have a perfect combination. Wife and children will join for the last two nights and various people are joining for odd days. The cottage has internet access so I will still be working early morning and all bar three evenings.

So the sequence of three posts will be:

  1. So what are we about?
  2. Modular training and methods
  3. SenseMaker®

The material will not be final and it will hopefully stimulate comment. Other than the three major items above the plan is to have three blogs: mine, one for staff and the guest blog which we are bringing back. The guest blog was always a mix of academics and practitioners in two week slots and we will be putting the list together shortly. The front page will give single click access to podcasts, key articles and the like and we are also working on the premium member section to increase value. All of the methods will be organised by module which will link directly to the training programme. The modular nature also allows us to expand on the in-house training we are offering directly and through network members.

So comments welcome here or via email. There are mind maps available if anyone wants to take a look and to be clear we are taking an evolutionary approach to this, changing things over time with a migration strategy. The last web site was a one-time fail-safe design with limited involvement, the opposite of what we teach. So this time its going to be a series of safe-to-fail experiments with a distributed feed back mechanism!

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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.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


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The first of three posts with some draft content for the new web site Cognitive Edge ...

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