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Dave Snowden

Clusters in the tail

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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Never mind tomorrow, it was wild ...

October 26, 2014  ·  Walks & Bike rides

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all

October by Robert Frost 1913


Tomorrow we start the Small Countries, Big Ideas project in Bangor with delegates from three continents and a real buzz about changing things.  I'll post more on that as we go through the week.  When we organised this a plan emerged to organise a walk in Snowdonia for those interested on the Sunday whichI readily agreed to.  Always good to show off the mountains of your youth...

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To be content not to know

October 25, 2014  ·  Reflections

Yesterday I made my views on making a difference clear in terms of what I valued, what Cognitive Edge is capable of and some of the Cognitive Edge capabilities in this area.   One of the things I attacked is idealistic future state definitions which I characterised as a form of neo-colonialism in the development sector.  That translates into patriarchy in a wider context, and the behavioural patterns of patriarchy are not confined to the male of the species.  

I've also posted in the past on the difference between sidecasting,...

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And here I stand

October 24, 2014  ·  Polemic

I was engaged in an interesting conference call yesterday while Michael was teaching a session in our four day programme here in Rio.   There is a forming idea to get together people with ideas who want to make a difference in the world (mainly development sector focused) to get some co-ordination, validation and overall to make a difference.

At the end of the call we agreed to define what we could all do, and in a mischievous mood I suggested we also list the things we didn't like.   Best I said to get that out in the open now....

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Small countries, big ideas

October 6, 2014  ·  News

For the last year with Bangor University and the Welsh Audit Office I've been working on our Small Countries Big Ideas initiative.   The basic idea is to create a series of properly researched programmes using SenseMaker® in the areas of health, social services and development.    In all these areas we have existing projects and a lot of excitement.   However for the next stage of our development we need to have a more controlled, less ad hoc approach along with proper research and papers describing what happens and also what needs...

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Intervening in a complex domain

October 5, 2014  ·  Reflections

A good conversation in Moscow this morning with David Anderson around and about the issue of managing a complex system and as is the way with discussion a half formed idea or two coalesced.    I've been teaching how to intervene in a complex system for years, developing and then using the ABIDE perspective question for example. More recently, based on UNDP work we've been mapping out what elements can be scaled.  Then we have three basic questions: (i) what can I change? (ii) Of those things that I can change, where can I monitor...

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Please, not more of the same (2 of 3)

September 21, 2014  ·  Reflections

I had to get up at 0400 this morning to make the morning flight for Berlin.  The reason was that I had an indulgent thirty hour period which stated on Friday night with a Blues match at the Arms Park, followed yesterday by a walk on Pen-y-fan followed by a performance of William Tell by the WNO in Cardiff.  OK we lost the match, but with considerable improvement over the previous week and it will take time for the new coach and players to jell.   I also got to take Kim Ballestrin to her first ever Rugby match.  I'd driven her down...

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Please, not more of the same (1 of 3)

September 20, 2014  ·  Reflections

Last month Paul Tudor alerted me to a 2012 McKindsey report Delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget, and on value.  I pulled it out yesterday as I wanted to read it for my opening keynote at the Global Scrum Gathering in Berlin next week.  In that keynote I plan to talk about issues of scaling a complex system and how to engage the 'C' level beyond IT management.   The report is two years old but I doubt things have changed that much so it gives me some key data.  What it doesn't do is really given any idea as to a...

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Goin’ to the chapel ...

September 19, 2014  ·  SenseMaker®

Final day of two working up here in Deiniolen (it's near Llanberis in case you don't know).  We have two technical teams, one in Singapore and a new one here in North Wales linked into the University.   Last night we held an event at the. University to recruit local authorities and others to a series of projects in social work and health.   There will be a new SenseMaker® Web site shortly and that multi-country  programme will be featured along with our new Culture Scan offering.  The scan will be a sub $2k capability with wide...

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From the malarial swamps of Darien

September 18, 2014  ·  Polemic, Reflections

It would be too easy to comment on the Scottish referendum tomorrow, or even late tonight when we know the result. It is probably the most significant vote in last hundred years or more and the Guardian front page (the opening picture) gives a good sense of that in respect of Scotland.  However I think the implications are far wider.  Over dinner last night in North Wales I said that I thought while a yes vote might not be the best result for the UK, it would be a great result for Europe.  I also said that we needed a few things to...

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