Dave Snowden

Culture: the subject

Dave Snowden

I argued back then, in 2002, that managing in the informal or shadow spaces of the organisation was more important than the formal side. As the focus of Cynefin moved from knowledge management to a wider canvas this belief has been reinforced.

On Experts, expertise and power

Dave Snowden

If you look at the medical profession we have nurses who start with experience and acquire theoretical knowledge and doctors who start with theory and then acquire practice. In those cases an approach has evolved over time with some elements of design and management.

Creating a knowledge strategy

Dave Snowden

Knowledge is best remembered/stimulated by creating a rich context of decisions. Knowledge Management Reflections I'm back at KM World in Washington having keynoted at the event for well over a decade now.

Of sandbanks and granite cliffs

Dave Snowden

For the moment I need to complete my summary of this bottom up too down emergent approach to creating a knowledge strategy. Instead this is a continuous process of mapping and strategy developed based on feedback loops and dynamic, but managed change processes.

Create contrast, enable insight

Dave Snowden

I started my keynote (available as a podcast) by referencing my surprise that this was the eleventh year at which I have given a keynote at the event and that in that time I had seen three cycles of knowledge management adoption with the same mistakes being made each time.

Systems thinking & complexity

Dave Snowden

There was a lot of value in setting objectives, designing things based on how things should be provided you had the sense to realise when you had reached a threshold of what I started to call manageable ambiguity.

System 267

Peer to peer knowledge flow

Dave Snowden

I promised yesterday to talk about peer-to-peer knowledge flow. Removing mediating layers of interpretation reduced the dangers of misunderstanding; the same applies to knowledge flow. Knowledge Management Reflections

Phon?sis in Cynefin

Dave Snowden

Initially it was all about knowledge management. My chapter in Knowledge Horizons (2000) explored multiple variations of a four quadrant version which had also appeared in the CBI handbook Liberating Knowledge in 1999 which I edited.

The certification question

Dave Snowden

In parallel I’m finishing off material for the new Cynefin Centre Masters programme which may be called The Management Apprenticeship , although the Trump associations might trigger a switch to Journey(wo)man or similar! The vexed question of certification came up in conversation yesterday.

Scaling the Edge: Cynefin™ as a journey

Dave Snowden

the mix of 360º feedback from peers and clients, narrative journaling and wiki-participation will all give us data that reflects many months of shared work and thinking that we can use to measure both theory and practice as a by product of network knowledge creation.

Wiki 166

The domain of disorder (i)

Dave Snowden

One of the first tasks I set when I finally got staff in IBM’s Institute for Knowledge Management (Cynthia and part of Liza) was to create methods for the social construction of Cynefin using exemplar narratives. I might manage that in one post, it might make two.

“No one gets fired for buying ….

Dave Snowden

I learnt this many years ago when, subject to one of their exercises, I managed to get my business into the top right hand box of one of the strategic matrices. … IBM” was a standard adage a few decades ago. You could have a better software package, or better hardware but it didn’t matter.

Buy 189

I didn’t fly, I wasn’t well served

Dave Snowden

Now I want to be helpful here so I spent time during the experience looking at the process and treating the problem as if I was a consultant/ethnographer looking at it from a knowledge management perspective – I do have some reputation in that area.

Class 143

The domain of disorder (ii)

Dave Snowden

By this time I was less into knowledge management, more into complexity and sense-making. Most people who have walked in the mountains will have experienced a temperature inversion at some stage.

Origins & acknowledgements

Dave Snowden

There is also an irony here in that Cynefin partly emerged as a consequence of my concerns over one of the major outputs of Japanese management thinking, namely Nonaka’s SECI or BA model that triggered the codification heresy in knowledge management.

There comes a time …

Dave Snowden

I’ve seen it in the Knowledge Management community with good people hanging on to the idea that they can redeem knowledge from the all pervasive view of it as a form of information management.

You can’t create a craft by committee

Dave Snowden

From time to time in knowledge management circles the cry of standardisation is raised. Since inviting people in, they have managed to alienate the three people with experience who provided. Knowledge Management Polemic ReflectionsIt's just happened again with a new KM Linked In Group with the banner.accreditation association delegated to make decisions by the global KM community.

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.

The tyranny of the explicit

Dave Snowden

In my youthful enthusiasm I assumed we would now fire the management as well as the engineers but that was also refused. We had the same nonsense in Knowledge Management.

Resonance in meaning

Dave Snowden

Many moons ago in the early days of knowledge management I argued that the ubiquitous DIKW pyramid was both flawed and dangerous. I was speaking before one idiot who was setting out his stall as the founding father if wisdom management.

A forward to a Cynefin book

Dave Snowden

So, here you go: Cynefin as a framework has its origin in knowledge management, in part as a reaction against Nonaka’s SECI model and was initially stimulated by Boisot’s I-Space. The SECI model focused on tacit to explicit knowledge conversion running through four transitionary states.

A memory of Peter Drucker

Dave Snowden

It has fond memories for me of the early Delphi group knowledge management conferences held in the Hotel Del. I'm back in San Diego again for a series of meetings and if things work out I am going to spending a lot more time here.

… 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. Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

A hotchpotch or ragbag

Dave Snowden

my job now is to summarise the remaining papers available, having covered off both Cynefin and Narrative that leaves a bit of a hotchpotch of material although its mostly knowledge management. Knowledge Management Musings

False dichotomies, reality avoidance

Dave Snowden

All the things that went wrong with Knowledge Management at the turn of the Century.

Fast falls the even tide

Dave Snowden

Knowledge Management ReflectionsWhen we put CalmAlpha together back in January I was somewhat shamed by Joseph Pelrine talking about his use of ABIDE, something that I developed as a pairing for ASHEN the best part of a decade ago, but then left it to go into decline. Others, Viv Read for example, argued that it should be brought back into the mainstream but it wasn't until a month or so that I started to realise why I was blocked on it, and how to use it.

Making meaning problematic

Dave Snowden

I originally started to think about this many moons ago when I was in IBM and got a special award from the Academy of Management for original contributions to Knowledge Management.

Of experts and expertise

Dave Snowden

A long time ago when I first created the Cynefin framework in its five domain form my focus was on knowledge management. CoPs were then held to be the best way to host and develop expert knowledge, so calling it the domain of experts made sense.

What is thought to be is rarely real

Dave Snowden

As I described yesterday, my use of narrative started with the need to discover decisions and their nature as part of creating a bottom up approach to knowledge management strategy. I should say that this type if mapping is not just of value in knowledge management.

Sample 216

… or pseudo-scientific?

Dave Snowden

A long time ago I settling into a new strategic role within DataScience following the best part of a decade as consultant/programmer then General Manager of the Decision Support Software business. So literally it means false knowledge and is thus a pejorative epithet.

Review 165

Statistical tails waging the dogs of truth

Dave Snowden

This seems to have been an innate feature of management science and to a lesser extent social science considered more broadly. I'll write more on the health care issue in the new year but for the moment I want to focus on management science.

On fragments and lessons learning

Dave Snowden

One of the themes was knowledge management within the development sector, something to which I have returned on many occasions over the past decade. Tacit knowledge is better triggered by interaction between fragmented micro-narratives and our perception of current reality.

Cutting through a weave destroys it

Dave Snowden

It's a good Curry do with conversation (on our table at least) based on some knowledge of the sport. The trouble is that would not allow large teams of recently graduated MBA's to reuse recipes and documents from over codified knowledge management systems.

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

Dave Snowden

knowledge. Techniques and exercises are run through, with recommendations of how and where to apply them, examples of their use to knowledge management, transformational change, customer and employee engagement, risk management and much more.

Lessons learning

Dave Snowden

Lots of interesting things over the last three days with new projects on creating an artisan model of learning and a complexity based approach to project management. I'm currently in Stockholm for the Adopting Agile workshop/think tank (it has flavours of both).

Owl? Lark? Zombie?

Dave Snowden

I remember at University writing whole essays in coffee fueled all night sessions to hit a deadline, something that carried on during IBM days where producing an article every month was part of the thought leadership targets we had within the Institute for Knowledge Management.

Mind your P’s and W’s

Dave Snowden

The negative exchange had started with my earlier criticism of SAFe as the infantilism of management. Their sins are those of omission, in that they do have knowledge of theory but don't want to engage until there is a stable body of cases. I KEEP six honest serving-men.

Description not evaluation

Dave Snowden

It happens like this when you develop or repurpose knowledge from different sources. It is the theory behind the cliche of if only we knew what we knew quoted by many a knowledge manager.

Dependency matrix

Dave Snowden

One of the key things in understanding and managing a complex adaptive system is getting the granularity right. Granularity is one of the key factors in scaling success and one of the easiest to manage. Probably the key priority measure for knowledge.

The narrative papers

Dave Snowden

There have been a fair number over the years, particularly in the area of knowledge management which is where all of this got started. Back in the Knowledge Management days I produced a lot of material in the more popular journals.

Context, is well contextual

Dave Snowden

It's been the best part of twenty years now since I moved out of operational and strategic management roles and was granted the freedom to play with ideas following IBM's take over of DataSciences.

2014 Education + Sydney ALERT

Dave Snowden

As I said the four days are stand alone and there is a brochure , but to give you an idea of how it works: The opening day is suitable for anyone, including senior management (who can just turn up for the first half day).

Communication

Dave Snowden

There was a picture of excited happy people in a knowledge cafe, followed by one of people slumped in boredom or asleep in a lecture theatre. Now in the keynote I had been arguing that most knowledge management programmes start in the central box of the complex domain model.