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Polemic

The evolution of culture

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 24, 2015  ·  Polemic

One of the tasks I have to complete over the next day or so is supporting material for a range of Cognitive Edge employee engagement tools and offerings.   For those familiar with Cognitive Edge methods and SenseMaker® as a tool there will be nothing revolutionary, but we haven't put it all together in a single document before and that is my task.  In part it is also a chapter in the book and manifest as a white paper and/or a brochure over the next few days.  If anyone fancies doing some copywriting or giving it more of a marketing...

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Nasty, brutish & far to long

By Dave Snowden  ·  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...

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Then kill the messenger ...

By Dave Snowden  ·  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...

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Deal with the system as a whole please

By Dave Snowden  ·  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.

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‘Essential’ flows

By Dave Snowden  ·  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...

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Chronology