Thirty something

July 6, 2008

This week I read an article about people in their thirties and how they don’t like to think for themselves ( here in Dutch). They prefer to receive cut and dried concepts and ideas. In Cynefin terms: they function well in the known-domain, where rules and unambiguousness are effective. The explanation offered was that this thirty-something generation, the first to be confronted with choice, hasn’t learned to cope and deal with the myriad of choices and possibilities a) the previous generation didn’t have, so the thirty-plus generation didn’t have that problem; and b) the next generation, that has indeed learned to deal with this myriad. Although I haven’t seen the questionnaire, my guess is it was a list of items and alternatives. Gives to think: present closed options and then find the respondents don’t like to think for themselves. Isn’t that inherent in all questionnaires, where people are invited to respond instead of cocreate?

Floor Basten

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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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