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February 2012

The Kennett, the Og and the Ridgeway

By Dave Snowden  ·  February 27, 2012  · 

Having landed from Singapore early in the morning and suffered the longest four minutes in rugby history I was in need of some exercise this morning. Another section of the Thames walk awaits the availability of my companions, so I have two long distance paths lined up for those weekends when I am on my own. The South Downs Way, to coincide with seeing daughter at the University of Sussex and now The Ridgeway, cause its close. Very close in fact I started and finished today from my house. I had work to do so I was up early anyway...

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and for the morons

By Dave Snowden  ·  February 26, 2012  · 

A timely warning from Dilbert today, which should serve as a warning to us all. Like all good cartoons it is a little extreme but it makes the point. There are good and bad aspects to the growth of narrative and one of the bad aspects is the continual attack by some of its practitioners on analytic thinking. If you want an example of the dangers look to the current build up to the US elections (or the last UK ones to a lesser extent) in which the ability to spin a story that people want to believe has more power than any objective...

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An uncivil practice

By Dave Snowden  ·  February 24, 2012  ·  Reflections

My last day in Singapore on this trip, although I will be back at the end of March. It's been a busy week both with client projects and Cognitive Edge business. One of the regular features of my trips to Singapore is a meal and conversation with Peter Ho, formerly Head of the Civil Service although when I first met him he was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence. Peter was behind iRAHS and many other initiatives in Singapore that had an international impact. He is probably one of the best known Singaporeans in Washington...

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Cultural change in Singapore

By Dave Snowden  ·  February 22, 2012  · 

I'm back in Singapore for a week working on a portfolio of projects building on work over the past decade. It's exciting to see ideas mature, understanding grow and engagement deepen over time; one of the characteristics of Government in Singapore is that they think and plan over the long term, less driven by the short termism than the UK and the US. I expect to report back on some of that work in future months, this week is scoping and discussing. I'm also taking the opportunity to spend some time in the new office and work through...

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A mans errors are the portals of discovery

By Dave Snowden  ·  February 14, 2012  · 

As part of the preparation for CalmAlpha this week I've been reviewing some of the general principles of complexity in human systems. I few days ago I expressed some concerns about adoption of language without really thinking about the implications, and picked up one "ouch" today as a result. I also ran through 7 intervention principles which expanded on the safe-to-fail idea which is so critical.

Today I want to think about some of the more common mistakes, fortunately less than seven, I am keeping it to three.

1. Assuming that...

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Chronology