Two alien species

November 3, 2012

Sometimes a cartoon is simply too close to reality to be other than painful.  This from the imaginatively named Toothpaste For Dinner is one of those.  As one who is regrettably stuck in several of these processes at the moment it was very painful. In fact I am creating a whole new concept of fractal deadlines at the moment to the point where I want to add an extra stage related to the discovery of real deadlines behind the stated deadlines. 

So why is this?  Some people are very good at managing their time, they make commitments and achieve them.  They never over commit and as a result of that they rarely swear, do not encounter the gut wrenching panic and the stress induced, tear producing terror of the final hours.  At the same time they may also miss some of the wonderful discoveries that come from those times when desperation induces deep discovery.  Mind you such people are for me a strange an alien species for which I have so little affinity in respect of their mental processes that I should not make judgement.  

I'm not sure if its nurture or nature or the need for contrast either.  My wife is one of said aliens, as is my son.  My daughter on the other hand had both final year key essays (a very significant proportion of the marks) more or less produced in a car driven by an all to empathetic father who had been far too optimistic about traffic.  A combination of the two resulted in a JIT arrival that would have been the eny of an archetypal Japanese production line.  Mind you I just drove home, she had a friend who had organised a cocktail and had all the material to ensure the essays were properly bound and labels; my daughter forgot that until round about the time we approached Horsham.

One of the key Cynefin concepts is micro-chaos which I need to write up by the way, but please don't ask.  The idea here is to introduce a near collapse into chaos as a means of engendering the final stages of the illustration before the real deadline makes it not only inevitable but potentially deadly.  Of course the planners and the improvisors of this world find it difficult to comprehend each other.  The idea of creating small crises is intended to allow the planners to use the creative process of the other alien species rather than be frustrated by it.  

And if you are waiting for the write up, then I need to teach it some more first.  If interested then the coming advanced courses in Calgary, Seattle, London and Boston will give you to be a chance to be part of the creative process.  Some of it will also be in the upcoming course on resilience in Singapore in two weeks time.

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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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