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Anticipatory awareness

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 23, 2014  ·  Reflections

A rather complex set of circumstances involving the family, two cars and the need for daughter to visit aunt; all combined to precipitate me into a Slough hotel last night after seeing Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera at the ROH.  One should never see Verdi immediately after the ecstasy of Wagner and one should avoid the Slough of Despond at all costs, but one lives and learns.   The rest of today was spent in Oxford walking through some of the radical new developments around SenseMaker® and its use for anticipatory awareness.   I'm not...

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Perspectives on Cynefin

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 18, 2014  ·  Reflections

Over the years I have increasingly used a picture of Cynefin which includes three dynamic movements rather than just present the basic framework. I used to leave that for people who wanted to learn more but then found that people started to talk about four quadrants (rather than five domains) and focused on categorisation of anything thing (or anyone) who happened to be lying around into one or other. Generally they cast sinners into order while claiming the privilege of complexity for themselves.  In extreme cases of derangement...

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Creating an architecture for change

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 15, 2014  ·  Reflections

Yesterday’s post was partly inspired by my reading David Chandler’s 2014 book Resilience: The Governance of Complexity. My daughter recommended it and it has occupied me on a series of flights from Mumbai to San Deigo by way of Heathrow and Dallas. Both connections were fraught with time delays so I ended up without sufficient charge on the MacBook to clear email and read instead. No bad thing and I might institute a new rule for flights that involves reading rather than processing emails.

Now I always get nervous when people rush...

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of Charlemagne and slime moulds

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 25, 2014  ·  Reflections

A couple of things came together to stimulate writing this post.   One was thinking about issues of management and control within organisations and the other was the recent BBC series Germany: Memories of a nation.  One of the key messages from the BBC series was the way in which the evolution of the Holy Roman Empire informs much of what counts as being Germanic over the centuries and into the modern day.  OK it was formally dissolved in the time of Napoleon but there was continuity of identity.  The italicised phrase is an...

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Of sandbanks and granite cliffs

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 7, 2014  ·  Knowledge Management, Reflections

It was good to see the strategy workshop picked up by Ian Thorpe in his blog and he beat me to publishing the final overview of the process (see below).  Later today I have a keynote to give where I intend to focus on narrative forms of knowing, but more on that tomorrow.   For the moment I need to complete my summary of this bottom up too down emergent approach to creating a knowledge strategy.   Importantly as should be becoming obvious it is also a shift from a linear approach of determine strategy - define needs - execute -...

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