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Dave Snowden

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 -...

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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...

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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....

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Creating a knowledge strategy

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 4, 2014  ·  Knowledge Management, Reflections

I'm back at KM World in Washington having keynoted at the event for well over a decade now.  Once it was virtual and I was represented on stage by a pumpkin, but I've learnt my lesson from that and now I turn up!   It is now the main KM event worldwide with other events suffering a decline in budgets and attendance and combines with other events using shared keynote.   I'm up on Friday before flying back to the UK.    Today I delivered a half day workshop on Creating a KM Strategy and I have, as promised, loaded the slides to our...

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Clusters in the tail

By Dave Snowden  ·  October 27, 2014  ·  Musings

A very satisfying first day in our Small Countries Big Ideas programme held overlooking the harbour here in Caernarfon.  The turn out has been good with a lot of potential synergies between the participants' potential projects.   Today we focused on the intractable problems and issues faced in government as well as a range of NHS issues.  Tomorrow we will create a matrix between populations, problems and perspectives from which we will define the starting point for emergent solutions.   I'll post more on that tomorrow but it's a big...

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