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Culture is entangled

By Dave Snowden  ·  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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Changing the landscape of health

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 30, 2013  ·  Diabetes, Managing Complex Systems, Innovation

My last two posts discussed by personal journey, and one which is not yet complete.  I'll update that from time to time, especially when I close in on my target weight of 82 kg which I should make when I start the 60@60 Round Wales Walk this February.  I now want to move on to look at some of the work we are doing in this sector.  As I said in my first post my getting diabetes was ironic as it was one of the areas we had selected to look at in connection with a wealth of new offerings using SenseMaker® for health and well being.  I...

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Exaptation & managed serendipity: II

By Dave Snowden  ·  April 2, 2012  ·  Science, Innovation, Reflections

In this second of three posts on exaptation I am going to continue to build on reporting discussions and ideas that came out of the Durham conference.  In the final post I'll pick up on what I presented (and what I wish I had thought of presenting at the time) on managed serendipity.

Probably the most difficult thing for people to grasp about exaptation is that it means that many things did not evolve for a purpose; survival of the fortuitous not survival of the fittest (which goes a long way to understanding the British Class...

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Exaptation & managed serendipity: I

By Dave Snowden  ·  April 1, 2012  ·  Science, Interdisciplinary, Innovation, Reflections

The feather original evolved for regulation of temperature, but then evolved for flight.  In 1942 a scientist at Raytheon was testing a magnetron, a key component of radar, and noticed that a candy bar melted in his pocket.  The next day he experimented with a egg which burst and spattered hot yolk over his face; thus was the microwave oven was born.  Scientists at Pfizer's Sandwich research establishment (I was within 24 hours of working there during my IBM days but that is a story for another day) were able to synthesise the...

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Architecture not application: an opportunity

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 19, 2012  ·  Intranet Technologies, Knowledge Management, Innovation, News

Around two decades ago I was arguing that object orientation was not just a way of creating reusable code, but was a more profound shift to enabling architectures that could combine people and technology in evolving systems. The first part was generally accepted, the second more controversial. I then seemed, in the words of Mark 1:3 to be The voice of one crying in the wilderness. Mind you I have been there a few times before and plan frequent visits in the future.

Around a decade later having left IBM I sketched out a text based...

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