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Dave Snowden

Creating an architecture for change

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 15, 2014  ·  Reflections

Yesterday’s post was partly inspired by my reading David Chandler’s 2014 book Resilience: The Governance of Complexity. My daughter recommended it and it has occupied me on a series of flights from Mumbai to San Deigo by way of Heathrow and Dallas. Both connections were fraught with time delays so I ended up without sufficient charge on the MacBook to clear email and read instead. No bad thing and I might institute a new rule for flights that involves reading rather than processing emails.

Now I always get nervous when people rush...

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Complex or Chaotic?

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 14, 2014  · 

The distinction between complexity and chaos theory can be problematic depending on who you are talking with, or what you are reading. There is no full agreement in the literature as to how the terms are used. There are also some mildly worrying differences emerging between its use in the social and natural sciences; an especial concern as complexity provides the basis for a realist and pragmatic account of social systems and a truly trans-disciplinary approach to human understanding.

While the distinction is important it’s full...

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Between the ideal and real?

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 9, 2014  ·  Musings, Polemic

An interesting extended weekend in an Agile Alliance think tank I joined last year.  Then it was held in Hillsborough, this year we changed continents and headed for Stockholm to meet in Ericsson's offices while staying in the Scandic Victoria Hotel (pictured).    I'm not sure even now if the hotel is an eyesore or an example of architectural genius.  It certainly makes an impression, dominating the local landscape and as such my dilemma about its aesthetic and functional merit forms a sort of metaphor for a divide that emerged...

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Of experts and expertise

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 8, 2014  ·  Musings

A long time ago when I first created the Cynefin framework in its five domain form my focus was on knowledge management.  The first fully worked article looked at communities and deployment of knowledge and in those versions I talked about complicated (then called knowable) as the domain of experts.   The context here was the then tendency to assume that all you needed to do to create a KM programme was create a taxonomy and set up a CoP programme.  CoPs were then held to be the best way to host and develop expert knowledge, so...

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Lessons learning

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 7, 2014  · 

I'm currently in Stockholm for the Adopting Agile workshop/think tank (it has flavours of both).   This is event number four in the series and I joined for event three in Hillsborough last year.  Lots of interesting things over the last three days with new projects on creating an artisan model of learning and a complexity based approach to project management.  Expect more on those as I have a fair amount to writing to do as a result and this blog is a good place to test out ideas.

In one discussion the topic of lessons learning...

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