… and the butterfly stamped


This method is a group or workshop based lightly facilitated exercise that creates awareness and understanding of the Cynefin Framework, in a hands on practical way. It uses a set of data points (in Contextualisation methods, these are typically narrative fragments from the actual culture of the host organization or target group) and groups interactively discuss the placement of these onto each Cynefin domain. Many of these data points may be ambiguous or similar. This promotes discussion and group sensemaking. Typically this Method is used as a introductory exercise and a learning and awareness approach, before working with real narrative fragments. Historically one of the data items in the original workshop, ‘butterfly migration’, reminded one of the Kipling short story ‘The Butterfly that Stamped’. The story itself is interesting because it illustrates the reality of the existence of multiple perspectives and the strategic advantage that can be gained if one manages those perspectives well. This exercise is essentially the same as Cynefin categorisation, except that the items being placed have been carefully chosen by the facilitator.

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