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Narrative Patterns: the perils and possibilities of using story in organisations

“Stories in organisations reveal patterns of culture, behaviour and understanding in a different and, frequently more effective way than interviews and questionnaire based approaches. Narrative techniques both reveal the patterns of an organisation and are in turn the means by which it can be patterned. Narrative is a powerful tool within organisations, but is not susceptible to the engineering approaches that have dominated management practice in the last few decades. Managers need to create an environment in which the patterns of narrative meaning and the patterning capability of narrative interventions are managed in the way a gardener manages a garden, not the way an engineer designs a machine.

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Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd. (t/a The Cynefin Company) are making this material available as part of celebrating and narrating the development and influence of the Cynefin® framework and SenseMaker  in various contexts.

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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.
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