In this chapter we explore how inter-organisational learning networks affect three systemic attributes of well-functioning organisations which are not often considered in value propositions for such networks: identity management, trust negotiation, and productive conflict. We approach the topic from the standpoint of a naturalistic sense-making paradigm, in which complexity, uncertainty and the stimulation of natural processes are emphasised over idealism, control and expert opinion. Since narrative and networks are two fundamental elements of human collective functioning and as such are integral to the naturalistic paradigm, we bring them together in this chapter. We consider how narrative participates in each of the network effects of identity, trust and conflict, and how that participation can best be supported to maximize these intangible yet strong elements of value afforded by inter-organisational networks.
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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