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Some more ‘necessaries – but not sufficients’ ……

March 22, 2010

One of the areas we explored at some length in the recent practitioner conversation in Melbourne, related to the skills and capabilities of facilitators AND participants needed to engage with Cognitive Edge tools and processes. One of the potential pitfalls is assuming that an intellectual understanding of the key ideas and concepts will translate easily into a capacity to apply the methods. This - is in my experience a common failing ..…whether implementing a more expert system such as quality control, or business process re engineering. All of the research shows that adults learn by doing – and yet the dominant approach to learning remains cognitive rather than experiential.

The collective wisdom of those gathered in Melbourne developed the following lists….which will form the basis of further exploration and conversation.

Individual capabilities to design and run processes

* Behavioural awareness
* Conversation;/inclusive focus
* Leading through ‘hands off’
* Political savvy – ego management
* Engagement/presence/ awareness of personal impact
* Complex facilitation and differences with other approaches

Supporting Individual capabilities- for participants especially in probe design

* Thinking tools
* Taking risks – personal resilience
* Collaboration/trust building
* ‘what if’ possibilities/options – dealing with unintended consequences
* decision making/problem solving
* relational skills

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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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