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Can you tell what it is yet?

September 11, 2010

A few weeks ago I spent a day with other European Cognitive Edge practitioners who got together at Luton Airport to map out the future of working together. We used the tools of our trade, narrative, complexity and emergence including an anecdote circle.

Now, the first story was quite long and involved and took most of that session - and someone later commented that what was to be a story circle had been a “story point” (we made up for it in the next session).

Take a look at the next picture, it's a small part of a much larger work The Side Show by Georges Seurat:

The technique employed is called pointillism and it relies on the viewer being some distance from the picture and the brain merging the individual dots into areas of colour, light, shade etc. (see the full picture below).

So it is when we get a large collection of narratives when working with a client on a project using SenseMaker™ - each individual story has its own peculiarities, and may, when viewed up close to other stories appear out of place, but when viewed amidst a much larger collection we get to see the broader scope of the picture (and this is also why the quantity of stories collected is also important).

I hope you've enjoyed my side show here on the guest blog - it's been a privilege and got me thinking! I will be posting additional ideas that I haven't had time to write here on the Narrate site soon.

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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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