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Sensitive little souls

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 7, 2015  ·  Musings

One of the really great things about growing up in my family was that we could have an argument without a breakup.  A family dinner would often start with someone taking a position for the sake of controversy and seeing how everyone coped with it.  If you got taken apart well it was to worse than losing at Buccaneer, another family obsession on wet days.  

I often forgot to explain this tradition to visitors as did my mother so we caused offence over the years to a lot of senior Labour Party Politicians.  Mum was the local...

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Between the ideal and real?

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 9, 2014  ·  Musings, Polemic

An interesting extended weekend in an Agile Alliance think tank I joined last year.  Then it was held in Hillsborough, this year we changed continents and headed for Stockholm to meet in Ericsson's offices while staying in the Scandic Victoria Hotel (pictured).    I'm not sure even now if the hotel is an eyesore or an example of architectural genius.  It certainly makes an impression, dominating the local landscape and as such my dilemma about its aesthetic and functional merit forms a sort of metaphor for a divide that emerged...

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Of experts and expertise

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 8, 2014  ·  Musings

A long time ago when I first created the Cynefin framework in its five domain form my focus was on knowledge management.  The first fully worked article looked at communities and deployment of knowledge and in those versions I talked about complicated (then called knowable) as the domain of experts.   The context here was the then tendency to assume that all you needed to do to create a KM programme was create a taxonomy and set up a CoP programme.  CoPs were then held to be the best way to host and develop expert knowledge, so...

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A return to ritual dissent

By Dave Snowden  ·  November 24, 2014  ·  Musings

One of the most popular methods I ever created is ritual dissent.  By happy coincidence it is also one of the most effective.  It avoids bland consensus in favour of increasing the range of material scanned before a decision is taken, but depersonalises intense criticism through the ritual of turning your chair around, or better still donning a mask.   I've seen everything here from commissioned costume masks from Venice to Guido Fawkes masks used by software developers.  An interesting choice buy the latter who, as a tribe like to...

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Clusters in the tail

By Dave Snowden  ·  October 27, 2014  ·  Musings

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.   Today we focused on the intractable problems and issues faced in government as well as a range of NHS issues.  Tomorrow we will create a matrix between populations, problems and perspectives from which we will define the starting point for emergent solutions.   I'll post more on that tomorrow but it's a big...

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Chronology