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Memories of Singapore

July 19, 2014

Time to leave Singapore for Sydney but a busy morning.  It started with a conversation on gaming and its use i policy with Peter Ho over breakfast.  A Singapore visit would not be a real visit without a conversation with Peter over a meal!  More on that subject in a future post.  Then Jimmy Kwang, one of the first IBM people to understand Cynefin and whose efforts got us started in Singapore picked me up for a coffee and a chat before he left me at the airport.  Jimmy is a great character and a generous host.  I don't think I ever eat in the same place twice in all the time i worked with him in Singapore and he seemed to be related to every restaurant and Hawker Stall owner.  When my children came he asked what they liked and Huw got a large basket of many types of banana.  The greedy child consumed then all over the next hour and suffered no ill effects.

I had't seem Jimmy for a bit and as a result we reflected on changes in IBM, Cognitive Edge and Singapore.  The later has changed a lot exemplified by the designer place we were in for coffee (pictured).  I'd also had lunch earlier in the week overlooking Sentosa which used be be delightfully decrepit and is now a monument to consumerism.  Much of its charm being lost in the process.   Singapore seems to be constantly reinventing itself and I am pretty sure their strategy on sea level rises is simply to demolish all buildings every decade and rebuild on top of the rouble!

It was a good time  to look back over twenty plus years of coming to this modern polis two or three times a year.  With that frequency you notice change, but without too much shock.  Its also an important place for me.  Without the imagination of Peter Ho, Cognitive Edge and SenseMaker® would not exist, without Jimmy and Janet (the IBM Country Manager and one of the good guys in IBM) that contact would never have been made.  On small things do we depend and we need to remember them and the small chances on which our lives depend.

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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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