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Intervening in a complex domain

By Dave Snowden  ·  October 5, 2014  ·  Reflections

A good conversation in Moscow this morning with David Anderson around and about the issue of managing a complex system and as is the way with discussion a half formed idea or two coalesced.    I've been teaching how to intervene in a complex system for years, developing and then using the ABIDE perspective question for example. More recently, based on UNDP work we've been mapping out what elements can be scaled.  Then we have three basic questions: (i) what can I change? (ii) Of those things that I can change, where can I monitor...

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Please, not more of the same (2 of 3)

By Dave Snowden  ·  September 21, 2014  ·  Reflections

I had to get up at 0400 this morning to make the morning flight for Berlin.  The reason was that I had an indulgent thirty hour period which stated on Friday night with a Blues match at the Arms Park, followed yesterday by a walk on Pen-y-fan followed by a performance of William Tell by the WNO in Cardiff.  OK we lost the match, but with considerable improvement over the previous week and it will take time for the new coach and players to jell.   I also got to take Kim Ballestrin to her first ever Rugby match.  I'd driven her down...

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Please, not more of the same (1 of 3)

By Dave Snowden  ·  September 20, 2014  ·  Reflections

Last month Paul Tudor alerted me to a 2012 McKindsey report Delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget, and on value.  I pulled it out yesterday as I wanted to read it for my opening keynote at the Global Scrum Gathering in Berlin next week.  In that keynote I plan to talk about issues of scaling a complex system and how to engage the 'C' level beyond IT management.   The report is two years old but I doubt things have changed that much so it gives me some key data.  What it doesn't do is really given any idea as to a...

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From the malarial swamps of Darien

By Dave Snowden  ·  September 18, 2014  ·  Polemic, Reflections

It would be too easy to comment on the Scottish referendum tomorrow, or even late tonight when we know the result. It is probably the most significant vote in last hundred years or more and the Guardian front page (the opening picture) gives a good sense of that in respect of Scotland.  However I think the implications are far wider.  Over dinner last night in North Wales I said that I thought while a yes vote might not be the best result for the UK, it would be a great result for Europe.  I also said that we needed a few things to...

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Weaving a common context

By Dave Snowden  ·  August 4, 2014  ·  SenseMaker®, Reflections

Luckily I had my Yellow Fever vaccination certificate with me this morning or I might have had a problem getting through immigration at Brisbane.  It turns out a visit to Latin or Central America, even if you only went to a major city, creates this requirement.   I didn't know but thanks to a recent visit to West Africa I had one in the travel wallet.  Carrying all documents is one of the basic rules of frequent travel, as is a small pot of shower gel and a micro-fibre travel towel!  The former got me in, the latter enabled a quick...

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