Cynefin & Theory of Constraints: recordings from masterclass

Explorations with Steve Holt and Dave Snowden | Recorded July 11, 2019 in Chicago, IL


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This full-day recording offers four lecture sessions delivered by Steve Holt and Dave Snowden at a Cynefin® and Theory of Constraints Exploratory in July 2019 in Chicago. Anyone with interest in exploring the synergies and interplay between the Theory of Constraints and the Cynefin® framework with an anthro-complexity perspective will get significant value in these recorded lectures. 

Noting the many examples and connecting the cross-references between Steve’s and Dave’s lectures, viewers will have an opportunity to consider applications and methods to improve processes, performance and ultimately results across a range of operating environments. The Cynefin lecture sessions in particular will offer those interested in innovation, weak-signal detection, and organisational change novel options for tackling challenging issues and creating lasting operational improvement impacts in their organisations. Complimenting these opportunities with the TOC methods and instruction offered by Steve Holt delivers the intended benefit of this lecture series.

Session 1: Overview of Theory of Constraints (1) Steve Holt (Duration –  1:47 hr)

In session 1, Steve Holt does a level-set on a range of foundational concepts to TOC. After providing some background on his journey of study and application of quality improvement efforts, TOC, and Cynefin, Steve proceeds to cover the following:  

  • Influence of Eli Goldrat
  • Four Pillars of TOC
  • Inherent Simplicity
  • Constraints / bottlenecks
  • Drum Buffer Rope (DBR)

Session 2: Overview of Theory of Constraints (2). Steve Holt (Duration – 1:29 hr)

In Session 2 Steve continues covering key concepts in TOC and helps participants understand their application with real-world examples and thought exercises. Session 2 covers the following: 

  • CCPM (single and multi-project)
  • Distribution
  • Goal tree
  • Current Reality Tree
  • Future Reality Tree
  • Conflict Clouds
  • Change Matrix

 

Session 3: Cynefin, Anthro-complexity & Constraints. Dave Snowden (1:41 hr) 

In Session 3 Dave introduces Cynefin and the parallels and differences to TOC. This session covers:

  • the premises of anthro-complexity and how natural sciences form a constraint on social systems;
  • three types of approaches to complexity: (i) computational, (ii) metaphorical, and (iii) anthro-complexity;
  • the dangers of alignment and the importance of coherent heterogeneity;
  • Gaussian v Pareto distributions and assessment of risk;
  • Apex predator theory;
  • argument against universalism and the need for context in which change is possible; and,
  •  Cynefin framework – liminal version
  • complexity methods are context-specific NOT complex-free
  • disruption, paradigms, explained by s-curves

 

Session 4: Liminal Cynefin, Anthro-complexity, & Constraints. Dave Snowden (1:32 hr) 

In session 4 Dave concludes the Cynefin deep-dive on Cynefin touching on certain TOC connections highlighting key differences.

  • the applicability of Cynefin when a disruptive shift in the market is underway 
  • triggering anticipatory awareness using human abductive methods;
  • the importance of building attention processes into a human system so when they are triggered people behave differently;
  • requisite ambiguity;
  • the value of conveying intent with metaphor, counterfactuals, and alternative histories;
  • typology of constraints;
  • working with constraints to change the system (map, relax, enforce, or change)
  • dispositionality and system readiness for change
  • Liminal Cynefin and dynamics between domains (including liminal domains)
  • Trios and Triple-8

Session 4: Anticipatory awareness vs planning and forecasting, requisity ambiguity, typology of constraints (and more)

 

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