H

Our Blogs  

Dave Snowden

of Charlemagne and slime moulds

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 25, 2014  ·  Reflections

A couple of things came together to stimulate writing this post.   One was thinking about issues of management and control within organisations and the other was the recent BBC series Germany: Memories of a nation.  One of the key messages from the BBC series was the way in which the evolution of the Holy Roman Empire informs much of what counts as being Germanic over the centuries and into the modern day.  OK it was formally dissolved in the time of Napoleon but there was continuity of identity.  The italicised phrase is an...

Continued…

A return to ritual dissent

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 24, 2014  ·  Musings

One of the most popular methods I ever created is ritual dissent.  By happy coincidence it is also one of the most effective.  It avoids bland consensus in favour of increasing the range of material scanned before a decision is taken, but depersonalises intense criticism through the ritual of turning your chair around, or better still donning a mask.   I've seen everything here from commissioned costume masks from Venice to Guido Fawkes masks used by software developers.  An interesting choice buy the latter who, as a tribe like to...

Continued…

Of sandbanks and granite cliffs

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 7, 2014  ·  Knowledge Management, Reflections

It was good to see the strategy workshop picked up by Ian Thorpe in his blog and he beat me to publishing the final overview of the process (see below).  Later today I have a keynote to give where I intend to focus on narrative forms of knowing, but more on that tomorrow.   For the moment I need to complete my summary of this bottom up too down emergent approach to creating a knowledge strategy.   Importantly as should be becoming obvious it is also a shift from a linear approach of determine strategy - define needs - execute -...

Continued…

Dependency matrix

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 6, 2014  · 

One of the key things in understanding and managing a complex adaptive system is getting the granularity right.   Things that are too chunked are too big to change, to allow combination and recombination; too small and any such combination is not going to be visible or significant.  Granularity is one of the key factors in scaling success and one of the easiest to manage.  For example using smaller organisation units rather than a structured hierarchy or worst still a matrix structure with its two competing hierarchies.  The same...

Continued…

What is thought to be is rarely real

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 5, 2014  ·  Reflections

As I described yesterday, my use of narrative started with the need to discover decisions and their nature as part of creating a bottom up approach to knowledge management strategy.  Decision mapping has high utility in its own right as, done properly, it reveals the true nature of activity in an organisation.  That can then be contrasted with the formal understanding of the organisation, normally represented in a process map with supporting procedures.   In all my years of doing this work I have yet to see the two aligned....

Continued…

 

Categories

Chronology