Dave Snowden’s Blog

Light weight and then plain wrong

25 Feb 15 · 5:01 pm

Just to be clear, the opening picture is not intended to represent the human brain. Now in my wildest dreams I would not have believed it possible for anyone to assert it did, but that nightmare was realised today.   Having delivered a workshop on knowledge mapping yesterday I had the day to catch up on email and also to tune into the conference before speaking first thing tomorow.  I decided to go to the opening keynote by an Australian speaker which advertised itself as providing insight into the use of design thinking in intranet design.  In practice all it turned out to be was a parade of web sites that had won awards, supposedly to inspire us to greater things.   Now I can look at award winning sites on the web, I don't need to attend a reading aloud story session.  If I put the time in to hear a speaker I expect to know more about how it is done as well as the odd why; but nothing was offered beyond a Ladybird Guide to the Intranet.

I wasn't the only one dissapointed.  The first question was to ask where design thinking had come in and the questioner was fobbed off.  So I asked it again but more directly and was told I had asked a good question.   Now I tried that trick on an Austraian a decade or more ago and got the fast response: I didn't ask you to rate my question you pommie bastard, I asked you to answer...

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Guest Blog

Tools & Process v Networked Human Judgement

By Michael Cheveldave  ·  15 Mar 15  ·  11:19 am

Late in April, Gary Wong and I will be delivering our complexity and safety training course in Houston. This session focuses on how complex adaptive systems thinking, the Cynefin framework, and narrative collection can help leadership teams improve their safety cultures and reduce safety risks. Fundamental to the overall approach is deploying a more effective form of networked human judgement and distributed sense-making.

Being a professional engineer with industrial project management experience I can appreciate the challenges many leadership teams face across a range of industrial sectors. Earlier in my tenure at Cognitive Edge I also led transformation projects in healthcare, some of which looked closely at patient safety in hospitals and healthcare regions. A common challenge that I see facing companies today is the proliferation of tools that allow all of us to manage an incredible degree of detail in our day to day work lives. It's not the tools themselves that present the challenge but our attempt to manage complex and uncertain environments with such tools in an ordered way. This proliferation of tools together with an ordered approach is also impacting safety. There seems to be no end to the number and variety of tool supported safety management systems enabling an incredible degree of coordination across large networks and devices. For those that know me well know of my personal delight in exploring the newest technological...

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