August 30, 2010

Hello, it’s a pleasure to be Guest Blogger here on the Cognitive Edge site! To get my stint off the starting blocks, a little about me:-

My first degree was in Electrical and Electronic Engineering after which I did some postgraduate study into Electromagnetic Compatibility (during which time I was a Guest Scientist (AKA research student!) at the National Bureau of Standards, now National Institute of Standards and Technology at Boulder, Colorado, USA). I then worked for GEC Telecomms (which later became Marconi) for many years in a range of roles including being a UK representative on an international standards body (a test of skills in diplomacy as being the native English speaker it often falls to you to discern what people from many different nationalities are trying to say and express that in a form on which they will agree), being part of a central marketing team, and working with Marconi’s biggest customer to help identify business opportunities in their markets.

While studying for my MBA at the University of Warwick I heard Dave Snowden speak on Complexity, Narrative and Knowledge Management and knew immediately that whatever else I had learned on the course, this was worth investigating further – which has shaped my career from that moment. My dissertation was on the application of narrative-based research methods to corporate culture analysis and through it, I realised the power of the techniques.

I have been using these skills (and Cognitive Edge techniques) for the last seven years in organisations as diverse as Age Concern and the Church of England, and in situations from thinking about how to plan a lounge for patients in the NHS suffering from dementia (perhaps more of that in a later blog?) to increasing the effectiveness of sales presentations by using the power of stories.

More recently I am working as a Project Manager with Narrate and also as Programme Manager (Mediation & Community) with Coventry Cathedral.

On a personal note, I sing for pleasure (two weeks ago I was singing on BBC Radio 4 for the Daily Service – there’s nothing quite like a live broadcast to concentrate the mind!)

I look forward to blogging more (I have a list of topics which is growing by the day) and hope to hear from you.

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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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