News from Cognitive Edge

From Dave Snowden - an important update

March 19, 2013

I think this is the first time I have personally written to all network members.  Thinking about it, my blog is the main method of communication.  However there is always a first time, and the material here warranted my getting personally involved.

Staff change

As indicated, over the last 2 years, Cognitive Edge has both evolved and adapted to change. On this basis we'd like to announce the departure of Warwick Holder, who is leaving to pursue other interests. Warwick joined our management team 2 years ago (leaving Microsoft) and in that time: 

  • incorporated a 100% owned subsidiary in the USA - which helped us pursue USA Government based work
  • led the redesign and redevelopment of our website, including the introduction of both a free and Premium paid subscription model
  • launched what is currently called the 'Advanced Practitioner' class

He's moving on, and we wish him all the best.   Warwick was one of the original Cynefin people during our IBM days, and his association and commitment to the ideas and methods cannot be faulted.

New training programme

As the readers of my blog post will know, we have been taking a long hard look at training and accreditation.  This was the next priority after getting SenseMaker® back onto track, with more deliveries in the last six months than in the previous three years.  Expect some more announcements over the next month as well.

Either way that review is complete, although the actions are ongoing, and there is more work to go. The accreditation process is going through a detailed review, and we will make sure all people who have been through training get a simple mapping when we move to the implementation phase.  As I said in my blog, this is all about quality management so we can bring our network of practitioners into contracts and increase the number of published cases.

The other major change is that we have modularised the training, combining material from the introductory and advanced courses with new methods into a four day training programme; the first three of which are branded as Cynefin & Sense-making.  We’ve allowed for people to take any day or combination of days, and also created the first half day as an ‘awareness’ session for those executives and others with limited time to spend.  Overall the agenda provides for a smoother narrative, building one concept on another rather than the current potpourri. That change also makes it easier to offer the training in-house.  Expect more course to be announced later in the year.

By holding a near full week of courses we can put two trainers in to give some diversity, and it also means other meetings and activities can be arranged during that week.  The first three sets are up in San Francisco, London, and Melbourne.

As a special offer, any existing network member who books before the end of March can bring a friend for a one time discount of 50% on the course fee.  Whether that applies to you or your friend is up to you!  This applies to the same number of days for each delegate.  This is on top of the existing early bird discount. Email Dawn for more information.

An upside (or downside) is that I will be part of the teaching team for each of these first three programmes.

Existing courses

We recognise that continuity in the transition of our training programme will require overlap with our current programme.  Practitioner Foundations courses will continue in the near term in some geographies and we will organise more if there is network interest.  The following are upcoming sessions of our well-liked Foundations course:

Vancouver, Canada:  March 25-26
Wellington, New Zealand: April 10-11
Atlanta, USA: May 1-2

The modular nature of the new programme allows us to mix and match with our past programme for accreditation purposes.

Online courses and material

We are about to launch a new online SenseMaker® course. This can be done at your own pace. In addition, I have recorded audio clips for each method/module (per the training list).  Those will be available for premium members and we will be looking to improve the value we offer there.  This is the first of what will be several initiatives.


We want to look at how we keep in touch, and how we use emails.   Any feedback on this would be really appreciated - use any of the links below.

Contacting Cognitive Edge

If you have education queries please direct them to Dawn (our Education Admin) in the first instance.

For Network membership / website questions please contact Michael Cheveldave.

You are of course free to contact me at any time.