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Dave Snowden

Culture is entangled

January 25, 2015  ·  Innovation, Polemic, Strategy

Another Gaping Void cartoon for this second post on culture, which makes the point that change initiatives come and go but relationships that we build can last for ever.  My post of yesterday targeted the single causal model that underpins so many simplistic consultancy initiatives than claim simplicity.   If you can find one thing to blame, then there is only one thing to change and life is susceptible to the recipe approaches that are all to common.  Manufacturing process replacing artisan capability in what is meant to be a...

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The evolution of culture

January 24, 2015  ·  Polemic

One of the tasks I have to complete over the next day or so is supporting material for a range of Cognitive Edge employee engagement tools and offerings.   For those familiar with Cognitive Edge methods and SenseMaker® as a tool there will be nothing revolutionary, but we haven't put it all together in a single document before and that is my task.  In part it is also a chapter in the book and manifest as a white paper and/or a brochure over the next few days.  If anyone fancies doing some copywriting or giving it more of a marketing...

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Of a journey or two

January 23, 2015  ·  Great places, Reflections

Given a weekend in Brighton anything involving mountains is not really possible but the Downs and the Seven Sisters are all available.  So given permission for one day I choose to target a long walk combing the two starting routes for the South Downs Way (SDW).   I've come backwards and forwards on aspects of this route over the years.   I planned the first stage of the SDW back in January 2012 from Eastbourne to Alfriston.  At the time I was just getting back into walking with the Kennet & Avon Canal and the Thames Walk.  However...

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Proud father day

January 22, 2015  ·  News

Late this morning I sat in The Dome Brighton to hear the words Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation, degree of Master of Arts and winner of the Bill and Scarlett Epstein Prize for the Best MA Dissertation in Anthropology, Eleanor Mary Snowden. Two years of part time study coupled with working in the call centre of American Express to pay some of the bills and she made it.   There was a total panic moment when she reread her thesis a week before the results.  She knew it had to be good to get her a distinction which...

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Some thinking about decisions

January 21, 2015  ·  Reflections

I'm still working through possible material for next weeks training programme in Zurich.  One thing I want to tackle in more depth (which I didn't mention in yesterday's post) is the difference between design thinking as it is popularly understood and complexity informed design thinking.  More on that tomorrow, but for today I have been playing with the overall model of decision making.  This involves going a little beyond the basic Cynefin framework dynamics and the portfolio of safe-to-fail experiments.  It is, in part, further...

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New thinking, new practices

January 20, 2015  ·  News

As people on the mailing list will know we've made some changes to the training programme.  The four day programme is now a flagship programme and will be run once per year in most territories, maybe twice in Europe.   I'm going to be there for them baring emergencies and will teach most of the programme.   We are then creating a whole set of other programmes around SenseMaker® for the moment but then more widely.  Those are in the main shorter, more specific, more practice based.

It means that I can use the four day session to...

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Systems?  Day 2

January 13, 2015  ·  Reflections

After the cathartic moments last night we moved on this morning spending forty minutes discussing if we should spend and hour in the theory integration side.   My view was that I had put up with several hours of discussing idealised futures yesterday so it was not unreasonable to spend some time on the theory side.  Fortunately most were happy with doing that.  Just to be clear "put up with" does not mean I didn't enjoy it, such discussions are entertaining and agreeing common enemies has a unifying result.  I just think such...

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Systems?  Day 1

January 12, 2015  ·  Reflections

An odd sort of day today, the first of two in a small session discussing system thinking, complexity and the like with people from very different traditions.  A friend in the US had started the process trying to get a diverse group of people together to secure funding for something.  After a few phone calls I got frustrated and suggested that a few of should get together and talk about it.  Part of the attraction there was an excuse to get in Cambridge Mass and the MIT bookshop but also there are some real issues that needed...

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Nasty, brutish & far to long

January 11, 2015  ·  Polemic

I took the train to Cardiff yesterday to watch the Blues play Leinster.  We lost the match, not due the red card in the first half but the yellow in the second.   If it hadn't been for that it would have been a famous victory.  I'd taken the train so I could catch up on reading and also relax a little.  On the way back I was sat with some Leinster fans and we had an intelligent conversation about the game for a bit then I settled down to read my book.  At Newport life changed.   They had just beaten Portsmouth in a lowly division of...

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a personal cynefin

January 10, 2015  ·  Great places

It's odd how the past can come back and give you more depth or insight.  I discovered yesterday that we had a family bible, something that turned out to be unknown to most of the family.   My daughter brought it back from my sister's house and she had it from my mother who must have had it from either my Nain (grandmother) or grandfather but we will never know that.   Most probably the former as the latter died before she completed her degree but you never know as they were very close.   An interesting story there in that she won a...

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