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Paradigm Shifts

New approaches to risk that focus on resilience rather than robustness, allowing a degree a failure but focusing on early detection and fast recovery. Shifts in systems occur from applications to architectures, from planning towards an idealised future state to managing the evolutionary potential of the present.

Pervasive Effects

Using narrative as a pervasive element of the organization's life through the creation of channels and patterns within which people can tell their own stories in a natural way as part of the day-to-day progress of their work environment. Pervasive use of narrative involves the creation of sustainable capability across the entire organization


Phronēsis (Greek: φρόνησις) is an Ancient Greek word for wisdom or intelligence which is a common topic of discussion in philosophy. In Aristotelian Ethics, for example in the Nicomachean Ethics it is distinguished from other words for wisdom as the virtue of practical thought, and is usually translated "practical wisdom", sometimes (more traditionally) as "prudence",


Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practised, embodied, or realised. "Praxis" may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realising, or practising ideas.

Praxis Makes Perfect

Praxis is the putting of theory into practice. In Dave Snowden's context: is the shift from attempting to replicate what has worked for others with the inevitable confusion of correlation with causation and the failure to appreciate the criticality of context, to an approach in which sound theory is applied to practice. When we understand the principles of complexity, such as agent interaction, attractors etc. then we can apply that theory to a novel situation with some confidence of a good outcome. It will not replicate past success, but will be appropriate to the current context. That used to be called praxis and is I think at the heart of this new age, and a key and controversial skill so its adoption will not be easy. Back in the seventies we used to joke that praxis makes perfect. In an age of uncertainty that is not longer a joke, its a key opportunity.

Protecting Mavericks

Mavericks and accidents, not experts, are responsible for many advances in society and organisations. Dave Snowden warns that in complex situations, experts can fall victim to their own thinking, and fail to see innovative solutions to novel problems.

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