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A Vector-Based Theory of Change, a webinar with Dave Snowden

A context might be complex and non-linear, but that doesn’t mean it is random and unreadable. In this webinar, you will learn about the complexity-based alternative to setting goals based on specific outcomes. While a clear goal might work in an environment where effect follows cause, in a complex context it might be a dangerous thing if conditions around you change rapidly. Your goal could blinds you to that change and to new possibilities.

In this session, Dave Snowden will show how a sense of direction is a valuable alternative. A vector integrates three factors: knowing which direction you want to move in, how quickly, and how much effort will be required. An understanding of the concept of vectors, along with the awareness of where you are at the moment places you in the ideal position for leading change, identifying how you can begin, and seeing where it makes sense to intervene.

The Vector-Based Theory of Change is based on a solid basis in natural science and anthropology as well as narrative theory and gives you a way of integrating multiple elements such as movement, time, and diversity in an actionable way.

Critically vector based targets reward intrinsic motivation, while explicit goal based approaches have been proven to damage this

Key points for this webinar:

  • Learn how to shift the potential of the present instead of planning for an ideal future
  • Find out how you can take action when classic goal-setting makes no sense
  • Discover a dynamic way of measuring change that is appropriate to high levels of complexity and is designed so it cannot be gamed



Other webinars in this series:

*** Cognitive Edge Premium Members qualify for a complimentary ticket for one of the webinars in this Series. See email for details.

*** Click here to sign-up as a Premium Member, and receive a complimentary ticket for one webinar in this series.

Dave Snowden divides his time between two roles: founder Chief  Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge and the founder and Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at the University of Wales. His work is international in nature and covers government and industry looking at complex issues relating to strategy, organisational decision making and decision making. He has pioneered a science-based approach to organisations drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory. His paper with  Boone on Leadership was the cover article for the Harvard Business Review in November 2007 and also won the Academy of Management award for the best practitioner paper in the same year. He has previously won a special award from the Academy for originality in his work on knowledge management. During his tenure at IBM, he was selected as one of the six on-demand thinkers for w worldwide advertising campaign His company Cognitive Edge exists to integrate academic thinking with practice in organisations throughout the world and operates on a network model working with Academics, Government, Commercial  Organisations, NGOs and Independent Consultants. He is also the main designer of the SenseMaker® software suite, originally developed in the field of counter-terrorism and now being actively deployed in both Government and Industry to handle issues of impact measurement, customer/ employee insight, narrative-based knowledge management, strategic foresight and risk management.


June 20, 2019


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


From: $95 / $70 if booking for 3 webinars


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