Dave Snowden’s Blog

Scaling: context is all

23 Jul 14 · 7:59 am

In my second post on scaling I talked about about two types of scaling and the last two posts handled the issue of scaling up within the enterprise.  The essence of yesterday's post was that we need to allow cluster patterns to emerge from finely grained objects in three areas: strategy, capability and needs.  Each of those patterns allows a new emergent potentiality to shift to realisation.  This evolutionary approach is all about sustainability and resilience, designing capability not product.  In this post I want to pick up the other type of scaling, namely this worked how do I get more of it type of scaling.  

It is worth repeating that a complex adaptive system is neither aggregative nor reductionist in nature so assembling processes into complicated control structures is not the way to go.  This basic error, exemplified by SAFe in software development is wonderfully satirised in this post.  We saw something similar in sick stigma,  BPR as a method had reached its limits and was (and is) failing in its application to services.  Such techniques work in closed systems but not in open systems.  The problem is that some people have been seduced into perversion by the attractions of order and can't cope with this limit.  So instead of recognising that they have something useful within boundaries they take the lets do it harder with more structure, more rules and more enforcement approach; in the case of sick stigma we also get the cult of belts!  SAFe is even worse as there...

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Guest Blog

Complexity, resilience, and safety culture

By Michael Cheveldave  ·  29 May 14  ·  2:20 pm

Creating and Leading a Resilient Safety Culture is our new training course that brings together resilience thinking with complexity and Cynefin to offer a unique and practical approach to shifting safety cultures in organizations. 

Cognitive Edge is hosting three sessions of this new course in June and July.  June 26-27 and June 30-July 1 are two back-to-back sessions in Auckland, NZ. The second course is SOLD OUT with a single company procuring the entire session. Seats for the earlier dates are still available!  In July 15-16 the course moves back to North America with a session in Washington, DC. Book soon to get your spot on one of the two available dates and locations. For course details have a look at the Auckland and DC course brochures.

Our Auckland sessions are being offered in partnership with Cornwall Strategic. We're looking forward to hosting two sessions together with Steve McCrone of Cornwall Strategic in June.

In Washington, DC, July 15-16 we will have a third guest instructor, Liviu Nedelescu.  Liviu is a complexity practitioner working in the area next generation air transportation systems. Also joining us at the DC training...

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