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Managing Complex Systems

Thinking simply, in context

By Dave Snowden  ·  June 20, 2014  ·  Managing Complex Systems, Reflections

One of the common social media comments post a Cognitive Edge course (especially when I run it) is that people'r brains hurt; it's normally a compliment.  As I said yesterday on the final day of this week's London programme the issue is to think differently, then its all pretty simple.  This is generally true of any paradigm shift in the history of ideas.  If you go back to the enlightenment you will find that the people who have made the mental shift to science, to the use of observation and derivation of rules, actually find it...

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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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All is vanity, nothing is fair

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 10, 2012  ·  Managing Complex Systems, Polemic

Isn't it nice to be nice?  To talk only about how things would be so nice.  To posit a future where leaders and managers are nice people who believe in nice things and have nice values and beliefs.  Its so safe to be nice because no one can really disagree with you.  Changing anything in the world is then about making everyone nice, once that is achieved niceness will abound.  In the near term if someone isn't nice, well then just stop listening to them, pretend they don't exist, hang out with the nice people.

OK I'm being...

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Change Management or Change Leadership?

By Gary Wong  ·  September 30, 2011  ·  Managing Complex Systems

Yesterday I shared some of my experiences implementing enterprise-wide software solutions. I was quite involved with the People aspects, in particular, dealing with change. My first formal exposure in change methodologies occurred when I was trained by ODR. Founded by Darryl Conner in 1974, ODR held licenses with the major consulting firms from the mid-80s to late 90s. His book Managing at the Speed of Change became a must read for ERP clients.

So that we have a common understanding, let's use Wikipedia's definition:
"Change...

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Jumping the S-curve

By Gary Wong  ·  September 29, 2011  ·  Managing Complex Systems

Cognitive%20Edge%20S-curves.jpg
One of the CE graphics that produced an "Ah-hah!" moment for me was Dave's S-curve diagram. It wasn't the first time that I had seen S-curves. At the global consulting firm where I worked, there were plenty of S-curve charts showing industries and firms going through life cycles. My "Ah-hah!" occurred discussing the bubble formed where the declining curve intersects the emerging curve of the new paradigm. This is where it hit me - if we pay attention to the weak signals and probe the outliers, we can help clients jump onto the next...

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