How do you Spot Radical Novelty?

October 8, 2009

Are the following incompatible?
1. Manufacturers and their sales force want the very “design of everyday things” to point to the way a product is to be used (Norman); consumers feel comfortable when they can slot a product into a familiar category.
2. Industries thrive on innovation, and radical innovation is a matter of “redomaining” (Brian Arthur), connecting a principle from one domain with a purpose from another.
4. People classify the same item into different categories depending on their experiences, the cues (priming) they encounter prior to classification… but
3. People also confabulate wildly to arrange contradictory, paradoxical, or just plain unfamiliar sensations into a coherent picture (Gazzaniga).

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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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