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Complexity & Cynefin: Masterclass with Dave Snowden, Vancouver, BC

** BLACK FRIDAY SALE **  –  a limited number of tickets are now available at a reduced rate

We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world in increasing levels of severity. Having effective tools and frameworks to aid in decision-making and sense-making is critical under such conditions. Cynefin and Cognitive Edge methods are widely recognised as key sense-making and decision-support tools for rapidly-evolving, dynamic, VUCA world. 

This 2-day course will provide participants with a practical but theoretically grounded immersion in applying Cynefin and complexity methods to a wide range of organizational as well as public sector challenges.  Whether you are working for a public sector agency immersed in a crisis, a company under the threat of disruptive innovation, a leader navigating major organizational change, this Masterclass will give you a new perspective on how to equip and manage through the most intractable challenges.  The “Masterclass” designation of this course applies since the primary instructor will be the thought-leader and creator of Cynefin, Dave Snowden.  Dave is an internationally recognized “master” of complexity theory, sense-making, and narrative.  He provides attendees with a pragmatic approach to complexity with compelling and highly entertaining delivery of course content critical for current times

Course content (Day 2 is optional but be aware that agenda may be adjusted by D. Snowden during the course of the two days)

Day 1

  • Practical implications of complexity theory for leadership & management
  • Cynefin fundamentals – a framework for sense-making and decision support
  • New techniques for reducing bias in situational assessment will be introduced to participants.  These include mapping and managing the constraints in play, understanding the degree of dynamic change and uncertainty and identifying significant minority or outlier perspectives.
  • The Cynefin framework, subject of multiple awards, designed to assist decision making at all levels of the organisation, will be introduced.  For those already familiar with the framework this course will be one of the first to teach the new liminal version Cynefin.

Day 2 

  • Apex Predator Theory – understanding life cycles of industry, as well as positioning strategy for handling disruption
  • Various practical methods and applications including Ritual Dissent
  • Heuristics and self-organising teams
  • Direction and vector targeting
  • Narrative and SenseMaker® including approaches to distributed decision support systems and whole of workforce engagement


Who should attend?

Managers, supervisors, executives, consultants, and students of complexity can all benefit from this course. Prior Cynefin training is NOT a pre-requisite however a degree of pre-reading and self-study can be immensely helpful. If you have attended a Masterclass before, this session will still present valuable take-aways and the latest developments on CE concepts and thinking.


This workshop will be delivered by Dave Snowden in a boardroom-lecture style, with lightly facilitated discussion segments and activities. Chris Corrigan will contribute to a conversation / exploration segment on facilitation methods with Dave Snowden (timing of this segment TBD).   Cognitive Edge Masterclasses are designed to stimulate a deeply discursive and engaging conversation, and attendees often find value if they come in pairs or a small team such that the discussions and knowledge synthesis continue beyond the class. Select sessions may be lead by a secondary instructor from CE or a partner organisation.

Dave Snowden was formerly a Director in the IBM Institute for Knowledge Management where he led programmes on complexity and narrative. He is a leading keynote speaker at major conferences around the world and is known for his extensive use of stories to communicate what would otherwise be difficult concepts. Dave Snowden has an MBA from Middlesex University and a BA in Philosophy from Lancaster University. He teaches on various university programmes throughout the world. He regularly consults at the board level with some of the world’s largest companies as well as to Government and NGOs.

Cognitive Edge reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule the offered session.  In the event of cancelation or rescheduling, a full refund of course fees will be processed within 10 business days of cancellation or rescheduling notice.  Cancellations by registrants are only permitted with a minimum of 3 weeks notice ahead of course delivery date with refunds provided less a 10% processing fee. Substitutions are permitted at any time as well as rescheduling attendance to an alternate session within a 12 month period.

Explanation of the ticket choices:

  1. If you are part of a group of FOUR (4) or more people, then please email training@cognitive-edge.com for a group discount.
  2. Premium Members get 15% discount on all training. Sign up for the Network here: Cognitive Edge network registration for a Basic membership. When you’ve done that you’ll be directed to the Network Dashboard page, click on the upgrade option to pay to become a Premium member and use the 15% discount code.


NOTE: Group discounts cannot be used cumulatively with Network Membership discounts. If you have further questions, please contact training@cognitive-edge.com



December 8, 2017 – December 9, 2017


8:30 am – 4:30 pm


From: CAD 1195 - 2450


515 West Hastings Street