My association with Cognitive Edge and its Network fundamentally changed my thinking and indeed the lens through which I was viewing the world.
I have been a Cognitive Edge practitioner since 2007 when as a consultant in a large firm I undertook the Accreditation course. A year later I joined Viv Read, also an Accredited Practitioner, in our independent consultancy business Emerging Options. One memorable non-software engagement involved the administrative review of a major university’s support functions using the Future Backwards and Cynefin Contextualisation methods. This very quickly allowed each function and the units within to articulate issues that were driving costs and develop recommendations as to how these could be reduced. Not only has my thinking changed through my association with Cognitive Edge, so has the lens through which I was viewing my world.
I have been using the Cognitive Edge toolkit since I undertook accreditation in early 2007 – initially in an internal capacity for a large consulting firm, and since 2008 as an independent consultant working with Viv Read in our business Emerging Options Pty Ltd.
The Emerging Options business has projects that include both non-software and software aspects of the CE toolkit. Our work spans a wide range of industries including Education, Not-for-Profit, Health, Defence, Transport and Logistics, Energy and Government.
My association with Cognitive Edge fundamentally changed my thinking and indeed the lens through which I was viewing the world. When I undertook the Accreditation Course, I was working in the Knowledge Management space, looking for the “missing link” in sharing knowledge. This link was an understanding of complexity and how to make sense of the complex, messy world of sharing knowledge – which largely revolves around connecting people through a shared context – that being narrative!
A couple of the most memorable projects that I have worked on using non-software tools in the CE suite were:
Administrative Review of a major university’s support functions
This major university was requiring its support units to save over $20 million in costs over the following 18 months. The board agreed that it was appropriate for each support function to participate in reviewing their function and provide recommendations where costs could be reduced. The HR Director of this university was CE Accredited and asked Emerging Options to assist in this process. We worked together to provide a strategy to facilitate each unit coming to a shared understanding of their major cost issues and recommendations to minimise them. Each unit undertook a Future Backwards exercise and a Cynefin Contextualisation exercise. This very quickly allowed each function and the units within to articulate issues that were driving costs and develop recommendations as to how these could be reduced. The framework was also aggregated up to show key cost issues for all support functions. This framework was shared with the board as part of the review process.
TAFE NSW – Virtual Learning Environment Stakeholder SenseMaking workshop
TAFE NSW were looking to determine the requirements for a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). A key part of this process was to identify issues and themes that could inform the future VLE business requirements and develop a vision for the future VLE. Participants contextualised the Cynefin framework using a combination of material from presentations and anecdote circles. The output from these frameworks was used as input into the development of the VLE requirements and allowed for rapid consensus on the approach in an environment typified by a diverse group of stakeholders.