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January 30, 2010

I appreciate the opportunity to be the guest blogger on this site the past two weeks. The comments from the readers have been excellent! We need to make sure that ideas of Cognitive Edge are made known to the individuals in health care who now stand at the brink of making significant improvements in the lives of many people. In particular we need to make sure of the following:

1. The Cynefin Framework and its implications are clear. Health care has some aspects that are simple, some complicated, some complex and some chaotic. Different dynamics are needed to deal effectively with each one. In particular, David’s video on youtube about the Children’s Party should be a great start: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Miwb92eZaJg

2. The Plexus Institute has a track record of what can be done when these dynamics, such as Positive Deviance, are used: http://www.plexusinstitute.org/

3. Paul Plsek’s “Appendix B” of “Crossing the Quality Chasm” should be required reading of all students in any health care field: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10027&page=309

4. The importance of organizational culture in a Complex Adaptive System can not be overlooked. “Tribal Leadership” can provide an introduction and examples of concrete actions to take: http://www.triballeadership.net/

Abraham Flexner’s report in 1910 did much to shape the advances in health care of the last century. It is exciting to know that new ideas, of which Complexity Theory is central, will be used to continue advances into the next century. The future is bright! After all, it’s complex!

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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.
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