Friday Five – Week 79

Here’s what we’re looking at this week…



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Dave Snowden


Keynote at (London, 22 March 2018)

Agile evolved from a set of principles to create a collection of methods but is increasingly starting to look like the structured and linear approaches it sought to replace. Lean has become a go-faster strip that can be attached to more or less anything regardless of its relevance.

Using George Orwell’s Animal Farm as an underlying metaphor for the way liberating ideas are corrupted, Dave will look at how we ensure a resilient approach that allows us to scale the original intent of both linked movements without compromise.

Tags: Agile, Lean, Resilience

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Lou Hayes, Jr.

Probing complexity

When I first saw Dave Snowden’s Cynefin framework, I was still detailed to the police department’s SWAT unit. Of the various terms in his diagram, PROBE was certainly one that stood out more vividly than others.

I immediately made a connection between probe and some specific strategies used in police tactical incidents. For my fellow SWAT knuckle-dragging operators out here, the practices of breach-and-holdlimited penetration, and of course stealth probing all came to mind. Let’s use an example:

Imagine a gunman holed up alone his home. Negotiators have been out of contact with him for several hours. There is little intelligence on where he may be inside…and just as little on the layout or floor plan of the home. What to do next?

My advice: probe.

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Sonja Blignaut

Seven implications of complexity for organisations

My last post was about Paul Cilliers’s 7 characteristics of complex systems.  In this post I want to explore 7 of the implications of complexity that he thought was important for those working in and on organisations  (his original text is in italics).

1.Since the nature of a complex organization is determined by the interaction between its members,relationships are fundamental. This does not mean that everybody must be nice to each other; on the contrary. For example, for self-organization to take place, some form of competition is a requirement (Cilliers, 1998: 94-5). The point is merely that things happen during interaction, not in isolation.


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