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Polemic

Light weight and then plain wrong

By Dave Snowden  ·  February 25, 2015  ·  Polemic

Juse to be clear, the opening picture is not intended to represent the human brain. Now in my wildest dreams I would not have believed it possible for anyone to assert it did, but that nightmare was realised today.   Having delivered a workshop on knowledge mapping yesterday I had the day to catch up on email and also to tune into the conference before speaking first thing tomorow.  I decided to go to the opening keynote by an Australian speaker which advertised itself as providing insight into the use of design thinking in intranet...

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Management corsets

By Dave Snowden  ·  February 15, 2015  ·  Polemic

One of the observations I have made over the years is that senior management and the coal face get complexity as a concept; mostly the problem is with middle management.   Now I am not allocating blame here, it reflects the nature of the roles, and of course I am making very general statements.   The real point is that people trying to direct the enterprise and people dealing with customers know about complexity on a day to day basis.  So when you give them the science it legitimises what they already know.  Those in middle...

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Rendering plants for people

By Dave Snowden  ·  February 4, 2015  ·  Polemic, Reflections

An interesting day working with a group of Partners from ETHOS with whom we are starting to form an interesting series of relationships.  I've had several meetings with them since I was introduced by Euan Semple and Jon Husband.   I share many of their values and approaches in particular a passion against the tyranny of utilisation based consultancy models.  Today and tomorrow I'm working through SenseMaker® with them with three objectives: (i) to see if it can provide a measure of value for share allocation etc.; (ii) to look at...

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You need human agency

By Dave Snowden  ·  February 3, 2015  ·  Polemic

A couple if inches of snow this morning and life became difficult.  The local authority have decided to rebuild the bridge which crosses the Kennet between our village the A4.  This means that you have to take one of two country lanes that will accommodate only one car at a time.  The obvious solution of a one way system has not occurred to the local authority.   In addition no one has changed the gritting schedule.  Said country lanes are left untreated as they do not take any volume of traffic.  Until that is the gritted road is...

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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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