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Dave Snowden

Light weight and then plain wrong

February 25, 2015  ·  Polemic

Juse to be clear, the opening picture is not intended to represent the human brain. Now in my wildest dreams I would not have believed it possible for anyone to assert it did, but that nightmare was realised today.   Having delivered a workshop on knowledge mapping yesterday I had the day to catch up on email and also to tune into the conference before speaking first thing tomorow.  I decided to go to the opening keynote by an Australian speaker which advertised itself as providing insight into the use of design thinking in intranet...

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Oppenheimer

February 24, 2015  ·  Great places

I'm taking a break from my series of posts on the new culture scan, in part because I need to do some more work on the documentation over the next few days and a couple of long haul flights will allow me reflective time to complete that task. The schedule is pretty fraught with my having arriived in Copenhagen earlier today to deliver a workshop, followed by a presentation Thursday then a flight to New Zealand with a 12 hours stop over in Singapore before returning via Los Angeles the following weekend in the first Round the World...

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Narratives of Culture: 1st movement

February 23, 2015  ·  Reflections

One of the problems with cultural surveys in organiations is that they tend to be evaluative in nature.   The same issue applies to 360 feedback, employee satisfaction survenys and the like.  With the best of intentions they want to know what people think about the organisation.  The problem is that evaluation closes down options and also can create stress or gaming behaviour.  

In addition the process of evaluation is itself problematic as it focuses people on a single act of judgement with a singple focus.   That moves away from...

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Narratives of culture: the score

February 22, 2015  ·  Reflections

This is going to be a little out of sequence, but I want to come to how we gather narrative for the new culture scans in future posts.   Suffice it to say for the moment that this uses SenseMaker® and a non-hypothesis question that can be asked of the whole workforce or just a sample: What story would you tell your best friend if they were thinking of joining your workgroup?   The employee then interprets that story using a series of signifiers that provide quantitive data, but at any stage we can look at the stories from which the...

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Narratives of culture: overture

February 21, 2015  ·  Reflections

There are some basic truths about culture in organisations that are pretty self-evident to anyone prepared to engage with either theory or practice.  The first and most basic of those is that you can't engineer it or for that matter define it as a set of desirable qualities, values or any other loose collection of platitudes.  In many ways the cultural engineering approaches that typify many a consultancy method have simply responded to the wider engineering metaphor that requires pre-defined outcomes.  In practice movements and...

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The science of common sense

February 20, 2015  ·  Musings

A solid day's teaching at Hull Business School today based one a set of material I have used in this type of context several times.   Session one is complexity, session two the cognitive aspects (distinguishing cognitive complexity from computational approaches) and then finally SenseMaker® under the general banner of narrative research.  The final session tends to use slides as I need to show narrative landscapes and entry/retrieval.  But for the rest of the programme I chalk and talk; that allows far greater flexibility and you...

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Lines in the sands of time

February 19, 2015  ·  Reflections

Up to Hull today to deliver my first lecture tomorrow in what I hope will be a long term relationship.   Yasmin Merali has moved there from Warwick and my loyalties have moved with her, although I am still to lecture on their MBA programme this year.    Yasmin is an old and loyal friend.   Unlike the Prof at Surrey University she stayed with me during the dead-john-years in IBM (I may tell that story one day, but it was nasty, brutish and short) at some cost.  She also introduced me to Max Boisot for which the debt is beyond my...

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Thinking differently for SenseMaker®

February 18, 2015  ·  Musings

A rather novel to start to the day; discovering that the Cathedral Road B&B I am staying in is owned and managed by Charlotte Church's father.  We exchange comments on dealing with wayward daughters and the loss to Welsh Rugby of Gavin Henson.  This is a part of South Wales I love, the lack of pretension and the refusal to take fame seriously.   I remember a long conversation about rugby with Tom Jones when I was luck enough to sit next to him on a flight back from Milan several years ago.  Breakfast over it was down to Atlantic...

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Hireath

February 17, 2015  · 

Down to Cardiff this morning for a two workshop which will define a series of SenseMaker® projects for the health sector.  We are holding it in the SWALEC stadium which of of itself triggers memories.   Glamorgan Cricket Club used to play at what is now the Arms Park and I spend many days there watching them play visiting overseas teams.   I still have Wes Hall's autograph somewhere.  Cardiff is a strange place for me, I regard it as home but I have only ever lived there for a few months back at the age of four.   We stayed in the...

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Good to have few choices

February 16, 2015  ·  Musings

One of the interesting aspects of spending far too much time on planes is that you often see films that you would not otherwise seek out.  OK it can be bad; I ended up watching the Spice Girls Move on one Qantas flight as I had exhausted all other options on two trips to Singapore and one to Australia in the same month.  Ironically a few weeks later I ended up sitting next to Baby Spice in Club but didn't realise until the autograph hunters started to sneak up from economy.

Either way to get to the point!  Flying out to Los...

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