Reflections over breakfast

March 5, 2008

Aside from the internet access problems South Africa retains its appeal. I sat down for breakfast this morning outside the lodge where I am staying (which I strongly recommend by the way). Fruit, cooked breakfast, good coffee and the sun coming up. You can easily see why people fall in love with Africa; the sheer size of the place, the vibrancy of the people you meet coupled with shall we say a relaxed attitude to certain aspects of life. I come every six months or so and its interesting to see how attitudes change over that time.

If anything the mood seems slightly more pessimistic about the future than before, although the people I know remain firmly committed to making things a success in the face of many problems. If you want to rebuild your faith in the possibility of change under difficult conditions you should visit South Africa. Many weaker peoples would have collapsed under the pressures of the last two decades.

I gave a lecture at GIBS yesterday evening (Slides are here). I was in an irreverant mood attacking case based research and pitching complexity based decision making – a summary of the HBR article. The audience was lively, good questions and great conversation afterwards. I managed to develop a key theme of complexity, namely the necessity if working with low granularity objects during that session as well as the accreditation programme. Expect more on that later this week but blogging may be intermittent depending on internet access.

Thanks as ever to Narrative Labs, our local training partner for setting up the session and managing yet another successful accreditation course in Pretoria. Vote for them by the way; they have been nominated in the South African blog awards, details on their site

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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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