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Rewilding Leadership

January 31, 2023 -  
Time Zone: Europe/Copenhagen


In recent years, many traditionally untouchable notions of leadership have been significantly disrupted, with a rising interest in rewilding and exploring a more complexity-appropriate approach to leadership that moves beyond engineering models or worse. Extending beyond Dave’s now well-known work around the theme of Rewilding AGILE, the rewilding idea has a much wider consideration of a different way of thinking about, designing and managing an organisation, a community or indeed a society.

Building on the work embodied in the EU Field Guide for Managing complexity (and chaos) in times of crisis (A field guide for decision makers inspired by the Cynefin framework), this day will explore some of the core Cynefin and associated Methods for organising or coordinating in complex contexts.

What to expect

From a naturalising sense-making lens, how can we frame situations in ways that respect the ecological nature of our existence and co-dependencies and shift us away from the dominance of an engineering paradigm?

Expect some disruptive thinking, such as:

  • No more “mental models” and “mindset engineering” – leaders need to take accountability for the starting conditions and stop individualising the problem. Interactions matter more in a complex system than individual pre-dispositions.
  • Stop blaming individuals for the failure of change initiatives –it is more likely that the initiative was too idealistic, too far away from the realities of here and now and often, seen by staff as hypocritical.
  • Post-therapeutic techniques have no ethical or approrpoaite place in leadership, OD/change or coaching practices
  • Drop the 5-year strategic planning process, or acknowledge it for the gaming process that it is. Start journeys with a sense of direction rather than a fixed goal, and then do the next right thing.
  • Asking what sort of mindset we want is the type of question which leads to platitudes and culturally specific value statements based on one perspective on how things should be.

As an alternative we suggest that we should look, pragmatically and realistically, at:

  1. what levels of agency should be given (ideally distributed not delegated);
  2. what changes are needed to the affordances provided by the system; and
  3. when, if at all, we can change the assemblages (by which we mean the patterns of narrative and experience which determine how people see the world including path and context dependencies).

Asking these three questions focuses on what we can change in the here and now, and focuses the initiative into understanding the system as much as individual responses.


This event is being organised in partnership with local Danish organisations, and ticket sales are available via PayPal or Invoice on Eventbrite.


Please contact training@thecynefin.co if you experience any challenges in booking.


The workshop will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Nomad Workspace

Blegdamsvej 6, 2200 Copenhagen N

+45 53695360



Hosted by relead.dk

This event is hosted in collaboration with local partners relead.dk.

Relead.dk help you upgrade the leadership capacity of you, your team, and your organisation by using transformative practices and dialogue to resolve your most pressing leadership tensions. The resulting capacity upgrade will enable you and your organisation to navigate the known and unknown territories of everyday living and leading in a better way. This is energized and guided by a deeper reconnection to yourself, others, and the world around you – a regenerative approach to a brighter collective future.



Voluntary cancellations are permitted up to 3 weeks prior to the course start and a 50% refund will be provided. No refunds for cancellations made 3 weeks or less prior to event. Attendee substitutions are permitted at any time.


Cognitive Edge reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule training sessions if staff illness or lockdowns prevent us proceeding. In the event of cancellation or rescheduling, a registered attendee can request a full refund of course fees. Refunds will be processed within ten (10) business days of refund request.

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
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