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Dave Snowden

Informing the peace makers

September 3, 2014  ·  Narrative

One of the principles of managing a complex adaptive system is the need for fast feedback loops.  In my second posting on narrative and conflict management I want to address that in the context of negotiation.   Now while my mind is on national level conflict, the same principles apply to service negotiation at a company level without the nature of major changes in the process.

During negotiations it is easy for people from both sides to get into entrained positions or loose connection with those they represent.   This can be...

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A shared narrative of the past

September 2, 2014  ·  Narrative

I've been thinking through narrative approaches to conflict management and peace and reconciliation over the past few weeks.  its been an area of interest for some time, but a potential client triggered me into articulating some of the solutions that Cognitive Edge methods and SenseMaker® can achieve.   So I plan to post them over the next couple of days.  This post is all about moving to re-describe the past, before you can move people onto a new future.

The way we describe our history is of key importance in determining what...

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Of leopards and people

September 1, 2014  ·  Great places

I'd like to be able to explain the lack of posts in August by a story of my taking an extended break in the European manner.   However its more a lack of time.  The month included a full week in Wilton Park looking at foresight issues which will generate a series of posts this month, but mostly it's involved catching up on a backlog of work at home and sections of my Round Wales at 60 where I am way behind on my schedule.  

Last week saw travel resume with a vengeance.  I got up at 0300 on Tuesday to make a day trip to Belfast to...

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Morality tale or musical jest?

August 5, 2014  ·  Opera & Theatre

My last full day in Australia before flying back to the UK tomorrow and it was pretty packed.  The seminar Simon and I had run the previous week generated a lot of interest and I had follow through meetings before repeating the social sector event from Brisbane.  For the evening I planned to go to the opera house in Sydney to see Don Giovanni, one of two Mozart Operas I am prepared to make an effort to go to.  I agree with Kierkegaard that it is Mozart's greatest opera and that opera is the greatest form of art, but I profoundly...

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Weaving a common context

August 4, 2014  ·  SenseMaker®, Reflections

Luckily I had my Yellow Fever vaccination certificate with me this morning or I might have had a problem getting through immigration at Brisbane.  It turns out a visit to Latin or Central America, even if you only went to a major city, creates this requirement.   I didn't know but thanks to a recent visit to West Africa I had one in the travel wallet.  Carrying all documents is one of the basic rules of frequent travel, as is a small pot of shower gel and a micro-fibre travel towel!  The former got me in, the latter enabled a quick...

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Apologies to Lydia

August 3, 2014  ·  Trivia

In some ways this post does not really exist as I crossed the date line in a westerly direction and thus the 3rd of August is missing from my life.   Ok around a week ago I lived the 28th of July twice, arriving in Houston around the same time (and date) I left Wellington.  Now I know the logic of this, but time is important to humans and this never seems right no matter how often I do it.

Now had this been 1031 I would have missed the canonisation of Olaf II by Grimketel Bishop of Selsey in England.  In 1860 I would have missed...

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Necessary ambiguity

August 2, 2014  ·  Musings, Polemic

It took me the best part of an hour to check in at Medellin Airport this morning.  The ESTA had to be printed out as they have no electronic link and will want to see it again at the gate.  Then there is the need to queue up to get a piece of paper to confirm your ticket includes tax even though the airline records already show it.  Then you line up again for checkin and get sent to get a refund of the tax in local currently.  All of this put 2,300 steps on the fitbit  and it really is a problem.  Excessive bureaucracy and thinking...

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True passion requires depth

August 1, 2014  ·  Polemic

The keynotes here in Medellin fell into three board categories.   Firstly we have the really famous namely Steve" Wozniak who will be appearing tomorrow, I'll thus miss my chance to meet the bug guy as I will be starting the trek back to Australia.  Secondly those of us providing serious content and or advise but not without passion or entertainment.  Thirdly the motivational speakers who shall we say performed.   Now to make it clear the role of a keynote is to make their material accessible and humour is a part of that.  Most...

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Speaking in Medellin

July 31, 2014  ·  Musings

I delivered my keynote at Héroes Fest this afternoon here in Medellin and it produced what is to date my favourite picture of me speaking; if I can get permission it's going up on Wikipedia.  I also remembered that the conference of the Latin American Bishops here in 1968 was one of the seminal moments in the formation of Liberation Theology, something I mentioned yesterday in the context of the need to take action in the present to properly understand the future.  The Dominican Gustavo Gutiérrez gave name to that movement in this...

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Managing the situated present

July 30, 2014  ·  Reflections

Probably the most important phrase in The Children's Party Story is the conclusion: We manage the emergence of beneficial coherence within attractors, within boundaries.  That simple phrase packs a lot of meaning and potential.   Key to it is the idea of managing the situated present.  To unpack that a bit I am using situated in the sense of situation assessment, sensing what is happening in its context which includes the past and in particular our perception of the past.  In anything involving change in human systems we need to get...

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Chronology