H

Our Blogs  

Dave Snowden

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...

Continued…

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...

Continued…

Actions speak louder than words

January 9, 2015  · 

I've made the point several times in speeches and conversations that I consider myself very lucky to have entered the world of narrative from the perspective of discovery not communication.  I have (and still do) some work on communication but it tends to be focused on initiating actions to make poor narratives difficult to tell.  Where we do story construction I've never taught the skill as to do that smacks of selling snake oil.   If you want to be a story teller it takes years of mentoring and experience and we denigrate the word...

Continued…

Weak signal detection

January 8, 2015  ·  Reflections

Yesterday was a frustrating one in many ways.   I had to write a brief summary of SenseMaker® and its capability for weak signal detection for a key business partnership that has occupied much of my time over the holiday period.   Now writing something brief is hard and I realised that I had never laid out the full capability before so I decided I would start by writing the long summary as a white paper.  That complete I could provide a summary.   As is the way with these things (or at least as it is for me ....) once I started to...

Continued…

Sensitive little souls

January 7, 2015  ·  Musings

One of the really great things about growing up in my family was that we could have an argument without a breakup.  A family dinner would often start with someone taking a position for the sake of controversy and seeing how everyone coped with it.  If you got taken apart well it was to worse than losing at Buccaneer, another family obsession on wet days.  

I often forgot to explain this tradition to visitors as did my mother so we caused offence over the years to a lot of senior Labour Party Politicians.  Mum was the local...

Continued…

Then kill the messenger ...

January 6, 2015  ·  Polemic

12: Avoiding uncertainty and anti-intellectualism

It's the twelfth day of this series and time to draw it to a close.   A final post needs to create some sense of completion, either by some summary statement or by building to a climax.  In a sense I am taking both options by looking at the willingness of people to live with uncertainty.   Looking back there is a common theme to most targets, namely their attempt to eliminate uncertainty when uncertainty is inherent to the current dispositional state of the system.  The dichotomy...

Continued…

Deal with the system as a whole please

January 5, 2015  ·  Polemic

11: You can't reduce or aggregate a complex system and trying is wrong a priori

Reductionism in human thinking goes back to the early atomism of the Greeks and in a real sense we have never really shaken it off!  The idea is that you solve a problem by breaking it down into smaller parts, solving the small problems then putting it all back together again.  Workshop techniques do the same sort of thing; breaking things up, sending people to separate rooms then aggregating the results from multiple sets of butcher paper.

...

Continued…

Roots determine routes?

January 4, 2015  · 

10: Trying to get to a single causal line of reasoning

The picture is from Avebury just around the corner from where I live.  Known locally as the Tolkein Tree it is a distinctive landmark on the walk around Avebury circle.  My own children spent many a happy hour playing amidst the exposed root systems and the trees also have their share of New Age visitations.  The three trees are not the Tolkein Tree, that honour probably belongs to the black pine  felled in Oxford last year.  My reason for starting with this picture is the...

Continued…

‘Essential’ flows

January 3, 2015  ·  Polemic

9: Against essentialism, defining potential through action

I fell in love with Philosophy as a subject through reading Plato.  That included the whole metaphor of the Cave which was seductive. The idea that there is some eternal essence from which all reality is derived gives a sense of the eternal. But such fantasies need to be abandoned along with the equally seductive idea (for the teenage male) of Philosopher Kings. These days I stand more with Heraclitus in thinking that everything flows, nothing stands still. To go as far...

Continued…

Trials need tribulations

January 2, 2015  · 

8: Issues of evidence and judgement & a false dichotomy

The phrase evidence based decision making is commonly touted and commonly misconstrued in government and industry alike. In part this comes from an incomplete understanding of causality which seems to stem from a desire for certainty of outcome. The concept of evidence here seems to mean the reliability of a statement If X then Y applied to evidence of past practice. The practice may be general or it may come from specific trials where a hypothesis of some type has been...

Continued…

 

Categories

Chronology