New thinking, new practices

January 20, 2015

As people on the mailing list will know we’ve made some changes to the training programme.  The four day programme is now a flagship programme and will be run once per year in most territories, maybe twice in Europe.   I’m going to be there for them baring emergencies and will teach most of the programme.   We are then creating a whole set of other programmes around SenseMaker® for the moment but then more widely.  Those are in the main shorter, more specific, more practice based.

It means that I can use the four day session to explore some of the new methods and thinking and feel freer to focus on both practice and theory not one or the other.   The next one is coming up next week in Zurich.  As seems to be the norm we started to get the rush of late bookings this week so it will probably fill up by the end of the week, so move quickly and remember its modular so all the days stand on their own.

A few people have asked what will be new this time so I promised my colleagues I would blog the provisional list.   I reserve the right to create something new on the day mind you, but for the moment this is the list:

  • Project management from a Cynefin perspective, how to integrate safe-to-fail experiments with more conventional planning processes.  This will include risk management and monitoring both with and without SenseMaker®.  This will be on day two with feeds from day one.
  • Tighter integration between the Gaussian/Pareto stuff and Cynefin with expanded work on resilience as continuity of coherent identity over time with some preliminary work on how this links to anti-fragility and related concepts.  All of that on the first day
  • The 12 days of Christmas blogs in a more summary form with some basic heuristics that expand the current set on day one in the main.
  • A complete revision and updating of innovation methods, expanding the purposeful use of unconstrained (chaotic) systems.  More detailed working on managed serendipity or exaptive processes all on day two.
  • Important work on the role of abstraction in human language and its implications for sense-making.  This is both theory and practice relating to SenseMaker® and signification and will help those in the Development sector and others who need a more rigorous backup to why we do things the way we do.  This is on day four.
  • How do you scale success in a complex adaptive system?  Given that aggregation and reduction do not work we need to think differently rather than just assume the same thing will work in different contexts or that we can simply stitch together different things.  So what can we replicate?  How can we initiate future success without imitation?   How do we combine different methods and tools in a coherence whole?
  • A fully revised section on employee engagement post the Gallup Poll result and other material that is placing this front and centre.   Organisational forms that encourage key employee retention and concepts around modern apprenticeships (something I am calling the New Artisan) on day three.
  • Expanded material on heuristics and parables and their creation on days one, three and four in different ways.  These are the alternatives to values and rules for the complex space.   I’ve been mentioning them for some time now but both the concepts and methods are better developed.

Now there will be other stuff if the muse comes to me.  Remember that there is a discount if you have been before and want to come again.    For those in the AGILE and other related fields this is probably the course to come to this year.

A lot of this has come from my going through the transcript of the last London programme for the book.  Nothing like reviewing material to get you think differently and see developments of what have been stable ideas.  That has been happening over Christmas.

The image that opens this post is a teaser by the way, more on that next week

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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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