Engaging with archetypes

August 25, 2007

In today’s guest blog Michael references his use of archetypes, values and themes in a current project. At the same time another of our practitioners, Sonja reports on a another project in South Africa. I elaborated the technique in an article last year with some other South Africa examples. As both Michael and Sonja point out, the value of the technique is as much the way people use the representations. The more you can allow people to see differences from another groups perspective, without the intervention of expert analysis, the more they learn. Instead of seeking to explain away the expert interpretation, they know that the material they are looking out came out of similar social processes to those in which they themselves have engaged.

They have to engage, they cannot explain away.

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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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