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Mobile misery

April 28, 2010

Today I thought I might be a bit more learned in this blog and then the world turned upside down – why? Because in the passage between meetings in London I lost my mobile phone. At both meetings I did how ever discuss the merits of Sensemaker and Cynefin one with a new young academic colleague the other with senior NHS personnel – did this make me forgetful of all else I ask myself? Meanwhile rescue mode became the order of the day, I retraced my steps to everywhere I had been, envisioned where I last remembered using it then added in the factor for unreliable memory, still no signs – I re-entered the ladies toilet and asked everyone in there if they could see it – no – I left my home number with anyone it might be handed to, trying to make the chaotic simple again, then exhausted I suddenly realised that I had to get back to my garage to pick up my car after servicing, but the time was running out to get to the train so fortunately a London cabbie came to my rescue and diving round the back streets got me to the station avoiding rush hour traffic with the Knowledge that he has of London.

Once there it was obvious from the train times I would be late arriving, but I did not have a phone or indeed the garage number to warn them. I got on the train which was about ten minutes from departure, I looked at my fellow passengers were they friendly or not, could I overcome my British reserve to ask a favour? Once I had surfaced this dilemma to myself the answer was simple – what had I to lose? I spoke to the first person I saw with a mobile in use, explaining my dilemma – he said of course I could call a friend – but all I got was an unreliable answerphone – then he suggested I call the garage but alas the number was in my lost phone – then he suggested getting the number from the Directory which he did – at last I got the guy at the garage and yes he would wait. The train departed and very soon arrived at my station.

I walked in the fading but warm sun to the garage, which to my horror was all locked up, I banged on the door and wondered how I would get home – then nodding towards me I saw my car, the garage owner had gone to the station to pick me up – if only I had had my mobile he would have been able to tell me but no the mobile was lost and in spite of all the help I had received through a bunch of really helpful people I still feel lost ………. a victim of the technology tyranny that rules our lives, but interestingly also when it failed it was a reversion to the tried and tested story through which I conveyed m problem, and to which I got not just a sympathetic but more forcefully an empathetic set of replies. Lest we forget power is dependence …….even in this case the power of a mobile phone.

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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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