KM Word: Capstone event

November 19, 2009

An odd feeling at KM World today as its the last time in San Jose, next year its going to Washington. The right decision, but I will miss the annual trip, especially as I now know the light rail system backwards. I’ll also miss one of the best places in California for breakfast or lunch which is a brisk 20 minutes walk from the conference centre. The Garage in Naglee Park for those interested.

We experimented this year with a capstone event to bring together the various learning. Beth joined me to provide an anthropological insight into a workshop run using Cognitive Edge methods. As ever ritual dissent was well received and people appeared to enjoy the event. I promised to share the quotes I used in a series of brief interventions so here they are:

While tacit knowledge can be possessed by itself, explicit knowledge must rely on being tacitly understood and applied Hence all knowledge is either tacit or rooted in tacit knowledge. A wholly explicit knowledge is unthinkable.

Michael Polanyi “Knowing and Being”

Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.”

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 2

The greatest loss of time is delay & expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty


Nor do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will spill out, and the skins will be ruined. Instead, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.

Mark 9:17

We must find ways to stimulate the novelty-receptive right hemisphere of the brain, lest the left side carry through its conformist mandate of rationalizing and legitimizing expectations, habits and prejudices

Leslie Paul Thiele “The Heart of Judgement”

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

Nasrudin found a weary falcon sitting one day on his window-sill.

He had never seen a bird like this before.

“You poor thing”, he said, “how ever were you to allowed to get into this state?”

He clipped the falcon’s talons and cut its beak straight, and trimmed its feathers.

“Now you look more like a bird”, said Nasrudin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

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.


Social Links: The Cynefin Company
Social Links: The Cynefin Centre
< Prev

Reflections in nature

- No Comments

Having been exposed to complexity and its strong connection with the natural world, I am ...

More posts

Next >

Public transport

- No Comments

A quick day trip to Seattle today to meet with our patent lawyers (I still ...

More posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram