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Scaling: the perversion of order

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 24, 2014  ·  Reflections

To my final post on scaling, at least for the moment as it's a big and developing subject.  There is a tendency in some complexity writing to simply abandon the whole question of management to vague and idealistic statements about self-organising and natural systems.  The simple fact is that choosing not to do something is as much an intentional act as to do something; sins of omission are at the same level as those of commission.  The issue is not management, but what is the focus of management.  To put it simply it's all about...

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Scaling: context is all

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 23, 2014  ·  Reflections

In my second post on scaling I talked about about two types of scaling and the last two posts handled the issue of scaling up within the enterprise.  The essence of yesterday's post was that we need to allow cluster patterns to emerge from finely grained objects in three areas: strategy, capability and needs.  Each of those patterns allows a new emergent potentiality to shift to realisation.  This evolutionary approach is all about sustainability and resilience, designing capability not product.  In this post I want to pick up the...

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Scaling: of gaps and things

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 22, 2014  ·  Reflections

Yesterday I promised to move on the How do you scale success? question but working on Friday's seminar with Simon that afternoon various other thoughts came to mind and I started to sketch out the diagrams that appear below.  

For those interested and able to get to Sydney this link will give you a third off the full price

So my plan today is to talk more about the issue of granularity and non-linearity in scaling.  I want to do this in the context of understanding the dynamic between three aspects of an organisation:

    ...

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Scaling: merge, match & masticate

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 21, 2014  ·  Reflections

Scaling as a subject seems topical at the moment.   Cognitive Edge has been working with the UNDP on how do you scale success in the development sector and we recently ran a fascinating event in New York look at the science of how complex adaptive systems scale which is now moving into early experimental use.  At the same time in the Agile community we have the controversies over SAFe where scaling seems to mean ​how do I get senior IT management to adopt Agile practice rather than how do I scale success per se.  Now both of these...

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Initial thinking on scaling

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 20, 2014  ·  Reflections

I had more time to think than I planned on the flight to Sydney last night.  I got upgraded to club which was a good start, but service takes longer so sleep time was cut down, and then destroyed by three families with 9/10 year old kids whose body clocks seem set at mid-morning and whose parents saw no reason to impose any constraint.  If that wasn't bad enough we did the normal is the wind low enough to land from the sea nonsense that you get when you arrive before 0600 at Sydney.  That meant that just after I had dozed off the...

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