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January 2015

Description not evaluation

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 31, 2015  ·  Reflections

One of the things I am enjoying at the moment is the way a lot of things are coming together conceptually.   It happens like this when you develop or repurpose knowledge from different sources.  Individual practices and ideas make sense in their own right.  Then you read more, practice more, and the various origins and instantiations (sorry can't think of a better way of saying that) then synthesis into something more coherent.  I've found it is the nature of trans-disciplinary work and its important not to force the synthesis.  ...

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On the dangers of transparency

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 30, 2015  ·  Reflections

My promise of yesterday to post on the question of transparency was promoted when I came across this image in a set of archetypes I was using as a project example.   I've extracted the essence, namely the staring eye looking through two sets of magnifying glasses at a plant that is withering in consequence.   I've said for years that too much transparency is the enemy of innovation and to that I now add that it can also act as a destroyer of judgement.   I remember after I left IBM I had lunch with a former senior executive who had...

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Humans are messy

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 29, 2015  ·  Reflections

Day three of the Cynefin and Sense-making course focuses on new forms or organisation and the various aspects of cognitive science and anthropology that we have brought into play in both methods and theories.  It is the day that tends to go through more flux than the others as it is a growing area of both theoretical understanding and experimentation for me.   As it happens I've been more focused on the wider society issues but all things complex in general ending up as fractal in some way or another most things work in most places....

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Of effects & things

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 28, 2015  ·  Reflections

I've been developing more material around the whole issue of dealing with the humanity (a double edged word) in complex adaptive systems.  Any development of this type involves reading, thinking, speaking and then teaching which is the point at which it all comes together.  There are substantial issue in human complex systems where the intelligence, identity and intentionality aspects of our species come into play that defy modelling and more importantly any reliance on a purely Look it worked lets go do more of it  approach to...

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The ethics of unintended consequences

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 27, 2015  ·  Reflections

I taught the first day of of the Cynefin and Sense-making course here in Zurich without slides.   I'm breaking the pattern entrainment of the slides I used and modified for the last two years by finding different ways to explain and expand on some of the consequences of thinking from a complexity perspective.  One of the aspects of speaking in this way is that you discover new ways of explaining things, but also you get new insights and understanding.  In effect the law of unintended consequences come into play if you relax...

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Chronology