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October 2011

Pre-flight thought

By Dave Snowden  ·  October 31, 2011  ·  Polemic

Mediocrity_SucksCopy.jpeg A lesson for those who can't cope with disagreement. Thanks as ever to Gaping Void


Sense-making in a hostage situation

By Dave Snowden  ·  October 31, 2011  ·  Musings

I've been meaning to share this story for a bit. For some years now the Cynefin framework has been taught at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterrey and they also produced a wonderful alternative version of the children's party story. They recently sent me a story by Captain Richard Alexander of the Tulsa Police Department. It is a very pragmatic reflection and a good example of the legitimate use of Cynefin as a categorisation framework in operational use.

When police rookies hit the field, one of the first thing some of...


Thoughts from the Bene Gesseret

By Dave Snowden  ·  October 29, 2011  ·  Musings

Screen Shot 2011-10-29 at 00.31.29.png "Give me the judgement of balanced minds in preference to laws every time. Codecs and manuals create patterned behaviour. All patterned behaviour tends to go unquestioned, gathering destructive momentum"

A passing thought from the departure lounge at Sydney before I fly to Bogota and back over the weekend. Hopefully I will be allowed back ….


language is the master of (wo)man

By Dave Snowden  ·  October 27, 2011  ·  Reflections


"Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man"

Martin Heidegger

So what's the difference between talking about Linear Based Print Media and Retrospective Coherence? Well the first is clearly pretentious nonsense (it means books; if you didn't realise that give yourself a star) the second is more curious. We could say hindsight which is more common place but does it mean the same? I normally combine the two. I argue that retrospective coherence is one of the two main...


“…like a horse and carriage”

By Dave Snowden  ·  October 26, 2011  ·  Polemic


“Economists and workplace consultants regard it as almost unquestioned dogma that people are motivated by rewards, so they don’t feel the need to test this. It has the status more of religious truth than scientific hypothesis.”

“The facts are absolutely clear.
There is no question that in virtually all circumstances in which people are doing things in order to get rewards, extrinsic tangible rewards undermine intrinsic motivation”

New Scientist 9th April 2011 pp 40-43

The news of changes at the top in IBM brought...