Dave Snowden

“No one gets fired for buying ….

Dave Snowden

… IBM” was a standard adage a few decades ago. You could have a better software package, or better hardware but it didn’t matter. Fear that things might go wrong resulted in a safety first mentality. If we buy the market leader then its not my fault.

Buy 76

Systems thinking & complexity

Dave Snowden

A recent post by Sonja caused some reaction in social media and I promised to write something to clarify my position the subject. Now I should say up front that a lot of this is finding labels for things that are different, not the denigration of other methods and tools.

Trending Sources

Fidelity in complex systems consultancy

Dave Snowden

It been a week since my tirade against the abrogation of leadership by falling back to the crutch of a mega-consultancy report. Since then a mixture of bad flu, trans-pacific, trans-americas & transatlantic flights have all conspired against my blogging.

Scaling in complex systems

Dave Snowden

I wrote a series of posts about scaling over three year ago which in part addressed some of the perversities of methods focused on accreditation revenue to which I referred yesterday.

connections not things

Dave Snowden

Following last weeks highly successful Cynefin Retreat we had a Cognitive Edge management meeting at my home in Wiltshire.

Liminal Cynefin: the final cut?

Dave Snowden

The liminal version of Cynefin has been slowly evolving over the last few months. It was getting close in August but I wasn’t happy as it didn’t properly deal with disorder or the various Cynefin dynamics.

risk?

Dave Snowden

Most large companies are prepared to invest in “incremental innovation” but very few are willing to grant decision authority to management teams at a level necessary for disruptive innovation.

False dichotomies, reality avoidance

Dave Snowden

In my keynote on Friday at Agile Maine I opened by suggesting that there was a schizophrenic dichotomy in the Agile movement between highly structured, harmful, all encompassing frameworks on the one hand, and mostly harmless, but inconsequential methods based on happiness and the like.

In uncertainty lies resilience

Dave Snowden

This post is illustrated with Body of Knowledge , a steel sculpture created in 2010 by Jaume Plensa, located at the Westend Campus of Goethe University Frankfurt.

Power of the facilitator

Dave Snowden

I’m picking up on my earlier posts on experts and professionalism by addressing the more controversial issue of workshops in modern practice. Now before anyone gets paranoid or over reacts I’m not arguing against workshops per se.

Small actions to create meaning

Dave Snowden

The last few days have seen one of the periodic retweeting of a three year old post I wrote with the title SAFe the Infantilisation of Management. This in turn generated a more extensive debate on LinkedIn which saw a few SAFe trainers and coaches defend their position.

Boundary conditions

Dave Snowden

For various complex reasons which started with a casual throw away remark at Lean Agile Scotland followed by a brief twitter storm I am spending two days in Dubai with a Kanban group. That includes the co-authors of Essential Kanban Condensed , namely David Anderson and Andy Carmichael.

Liminal Cynefin – image release

Dave Snowden

I decided it would be a good idea to make the image of Cynefin available, if only to reduce the change of people drawing it as a two by two and adding a diamond to keep me happy. Typical Saxon tendency, reducing Celtic curves to straight lines.

a need for empathy

Dave Snowden

There was a wonderful, if depressing, tweet from J.K.Rowling yesterday: If we all hit ctrl-alt-del simultaneously and pray, perhaps we can force 2016 to reboot.

Yes but… (and the Isaiah moment is still with us)

Dave Snowden

Don’t prescribe sainthood

Dave Snowden

One of the many things that has always frustrated me about too many organisational change theories and practices is the assumption of sainthood. A model of the organisation, or its leaders, or the ideal employee or whatever is created.

Things a leader can do

Dave Snowden

Just over a week ago I posted at the end of day one of the Helsinki think tank on Leadership. I planned to post the next day on one of the sessions I was involved in but events and travel overtook me.

Shooting the Sacred Cows of OD

Dave Snowden

Yesterday I referenced a tweet from the Welsh Academy session at which I was a keynote Thursday. A frantic couple of days really.

Liminal Cynefin: first revision

Dave Snowden

I posted an early version of the liminal variant to Cynefin a few days ago, then presented it a few times. Last week in Tallin I ran through it in a masterclass and realised I had over complicated things. If you look at the learlier post I had added liminal boundary zones everywhere.

Freedom through constraints

Dave Snowden

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about constraints in the context of complexity in general and cynefin more specifically. I’ve long used a constraint based definition to understand the differences between order, complexity and chaos.

The trust word

Dave Snowden

A weapon is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary either as A thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage or as A means of gaining an advantage or defending oneself in a conflict or contest.

SAFe: the infantilism of management

Dave Snowden

I gave the opening keynote at the Agile conference in Brno today. A good audience in that they paid attention and were thoughtful.

Class 124

The domain of disorder (ii)

Dave Snowden

Most people who have walked in the mountains will have experienced a temperature inversion at some stage. You suddenly discover yourself standing above a sea of cloud with the odd peak visible but the vast majority of the landscape.

Liminal Cynefin

Dave Snowden

The Cynefin framework tends to be used in the main to categories situations within the four main domains (and for more advanced use all five). I’ve never had a problem with that but the dynamics are as important as the domains and they are too often neglected.

Liminal Cynefin, stepping over the threshold

Dave Snowden

I’ve been frantic the last few months with a lot of long standing wishes and dreams that are all coming together at the same time. The sort of thing that you initially say is the sort of problem you want to have, but when reality strikes one’s view is rather different.

New partnership

Dave Snowden

Berlin has always been one of my favourite cities since I used to cross under the wall back in the 70s for various WSCF meetings.

News 77

… and nearer to the Dust

Dave Snowden

One of the deeply negative aspects of the knowledge management period of a decade or more ago was the gross confusion of information with knowledge. One of the drivers was a quote now attributed to Bill Gates “ The inventory, the value of your company, walks out the door every evening. ”

A return to constraints

Dave Snowden

I’m getting increasingly excited about the work I am doing on constraints. I first posted on this with an initial taxonomy back in September. Since then I have been working the ideas into a series of keynote speeches and more recently workshop exercises.

Boundaries as domain shadows

Dave Snowden

I’ve been teaching a masterclass her in India to a mixed group and took the opportunity to push myself to get the boundaries as domains version of Cynefin to a point where it could be published for comment and start to develop.

Facile or felicitous?

Dave Snowden

I realise up front that there is a danger that this post may be misinterpreted. So to be clear I see nothing wrong in facilitation per se, I facilitate and I teach other people complex facilitation skills.

Creating a knowledge strategy

Dave Snowden

I'm back at KM World in Washington having keynoted at the event for well over a decade now. Once it was virtual and I was represented on stage by a pumpkin, but I've learnt my lesson from that and now I turn up!

Intervening in a complex domain

Dave Snowden

A good conversation in Moscow this morning with David Anderson around and about the issue of managing a complex system and as is the way with discussion a half formed idea or two coalesced.

to illuminate a small field

Dave Snowden

Anyone who has ever been walking in the hills will have had the experience of a sudden shaft of light illumining a previously unnoticed aspect of the landscape.

Price 54

A light touch on the tiller

Dave Snowden

So its day five of the Gaping Void blog month and today’s cartoon brings together my earlier post on small actions with yesterday’s on trust and culture. I made the point yesterday that trust is won through multiple small actions over time, and culture emerges through the same process.

On stony ground?

Dave Snowden

I’ve choose Van Goch’s (after Millet) 1889 painting The Sower to illustrate today’s post as I want to build on the parable of the Sower from Matthew’s Gospel which I reproduce below.

The domain of disorder (iii)

Dave Snowden

I made the point yesterday that the disordered domain within Cynefin is one of false confidence, assuming you know how to act without first making an ontological assessment.

C01: The Strathern variation

Dave Snowden

I promised an attack blog for each of the twelve days of Christmas and I got a lot of suggestions so there is obviously a market out there for taking down sacred cows, little tin gods and a paper tiger or two. As I thought about this while cooking the Christmas Dinner I mellowed a little.

Cognitive Edge announces training courses for 2016 – Working with Complex Problems

Dave Snowden

As we head into the Northern Summer/Southern Winter (delete as applicable), we’re announcing our timetable of new courses for the second half of 2016.

When to stick?

Dave Snowden

I should probably have watched out for today’s Gaping Void cartoon before mentioning humility in yesterday’s post! In the text that accompanied this cartoon we get: Thought leadership should be about giving. It’s about taking what you know and using it to help people around you. To innovate.

Clusters in the tail

Dave Snowden

A very satisfying first day in our Small Countries Big Ideas programme held overlooking the harbour here in Caernarfon. The turn out has been good with a lot of potential synergies between the participants' potential projects.