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Cynefin™ Practitioner Foundations: Washington DC ** NEW DATES **

In today’s increasingly volatile and uncertain world, there is a need for more effective ways of making sense of situations and managing in new and rapidly shifting contexts. Our past practices and approaches are failing us and what had worked reliably during more stable times is, unfortunately, proving inadequate for the dynamic present. This course introduces new practices and approaches that effectively integrate agility, resilience, and innovation in organisations for managing under conditions of uncertainty.

This 2-day course is a compliment and accompaniment to our Online Cynefin™ Foundations training – providing a blended learning experience. This Cynefin™ Practitioner Foundations training session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about the application of the Cynefin™ framework, and how to put foundational Cognitive Edge facilitation methods to practice in organizations. You will experience workshop methods facilitated by practitioner instructors experienced in harnessing the ideas and activities covered in the online Cynefin™ Foundations course. Access to the online Cynefin™ Foundations course is included with your fee to this course adding to your learning opportunity.

Through this in-person session, you will develop hands-on experience in thinking through Cynefin applications –

(1) for organisational change and transformation,

(2) to improve decision-making, and

(3) to create conditions for innovation, organisational resilience, and leadership effectiveness.

In-person practitioner training courses offer an enhanced interactive and embodied learning environment, where a cohort of attendees with diverse backgrounds, embark on a learning journey about how to apply Cynefin™ and related methods across a range of applications

Who it is for

This course designed for people who work in constantly-evolving, dynamic situations, dealing daily with uncertainty and risk, and looking for an enhanced compass for building organisations that are both resilient and innovative. Whether you work in an organisation navigating intractable problems or are a consultant looking to include complexity principles into your practice – or if you are simply complexity-curious – this Cynefin™ Practitioner Foundations class is for you.

What we will cover

This has been designed as a 2-day session – a combination of deep immersion into the fundamentals of working in complexity, and with the Cynefin framework. This will be substantiated by lots of hands-on methods-based activities, and group-based discussions.

The session will begin with an introduction to complexity, and the natural and human science that sit behind the naturalising tradition in sense-making. Discover and manage the evolutionary potential of the present by increasing situational awareness of the types of systems that we sit within, and how to modulate within complex systems.

The Cynefin framework has subtleties and nuances which are not easily accessible to the casual reader. Building on the basics outlined in the Harvard Business Review article, this 2-day session will help you dig deeper into the uses of the framework, accompanied by facilitated workshop activities and tools that have been used in organisations as diverse as the European Commission, multinational telecoms companies and R&D departments of FMCG companies to bring diverse teams together in pursuit of corporate objectives.


What is included

  • 2 days of instruction with a Cognitive Edge authorised trainer
  • access to the Cynefin Foundations Online course materials
  • tea/coffee during breaks along with a light catered lunch
  • course handouts and slides in PDF form (after training session is completed)




Zhen Goh is a trainer and facilitator with Cognitive Edge and is responsible for the company’s business development and training activities globally.

She contributes to managing the Asia-Pacific market, and has worked in multiple countries across all continents – except Antarctica (but plans are in motion). She has been involved in a broad range of projects, whose recent applications include:

  • Strategy planning for business harmonisation across OHADA nations in West Africa
  • Understanding social resilience to guide policy decisions within plural societies
  • Stakeholder engagement in contribution to developing more robust laws and regulations
  • Monitoring and evaluation of post-conflict restructuring (three parallel projects in Pakistan, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo)

Zhen also holds the post of Associate Faculty at the Singapore Institute of Management, where she advises on course development, and instructs in the area of Cultural Sociology. She has spoken on complexity and its applications in conferences and panel discussions, and believes in actionable and practical approaches. Often describing her role in CE as that of being “a Dave translator”, she will be able to bring practical application to the high-level concepts discussed in our training.

Outside of work, she is passionate about music, real estate and fantasy.

Brian “Ponch” Rivera is the founder of AGLX Consulting, member of the Cynefin Network, and co-founder of Cynefin in Defense. A former F-14 instructor and foreign area officer, Brian applies his military experience in High-Reliability Organizations, human factors, Red Teaming, and Joint Operations to reinforce the applicability of the Cynefin framework in both Defense and business.

Brian regularly trains and coaches executives on how to use the Cynefin framework to create the agility and safety their organizations need to thrive in this VUCA world. His clients include a FORTUNE 10 company, tech startups, and he has worked alongside Dave Snowden in advising military leaders at the Marine Corps University, NATO-ACT, U.S. Navy Safety Center, and the Offices of the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense.  Brian holds an MBA, MA, and several certifications in project management and Agile methodologies. He has experience coaching digital transformations in more than 20 companies and applying the Cynefin framework to safety and cyber defence.

Recently, Brian was selected to engage with over 70 leading academics, executives and high-performing teams in an effort to help identify how the U.S. Navy can improve its agility. The top two challenges in Defense and industry, according to his engagements, are the same: understanding complexity and building the leadership and teamwork skills fit for the digital age.


Explanation of the ticket choices

  1. If you are part of a group of FOUR (4) or more people, then please look at the ticket option for a group booking, or 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.
  3. Discounts cannot be used cumulatively with Network Membership discounts.

If you have further questions, please contact training@cognitive-edge.com
Cognitive Edge reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule the offered session.  In the event of cancellation 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.



April 23 – April 24


8:30 am – 5:00 pm


From: USD 995


CrossLead, 1445 New York Avenue, NW, First Floor
Washington DC