CynefinFramework final [Read-Only]

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CynefinFramework final [Read-Only]

Jim Woodhill

Wageningen International

Cynefin Framework

What to do about complexity?

Implications for Learning, Participation,

Strategy and Leadership


Coming to Cynefin

How do I explain this stuff?

Knowledge as knowing (a commodity)

Knowledge as a group of actors being effective in a

given situation


What is the Cynefin Framework

A sensemaking model for understanding how to act

in situations with different levels of complexity

Based on recognizing different types of cause and

effect relations

Draws on theories of:

Complexity

Cognitive

Systems

Narrative

Networks

Developed by Dave Snowden – ex IBM knowledge

management researcher


The Framework Model

Complex

Complicated

Chaotic Simple

Source: Cognitive Edge (www.cognitiveedge.com)


The Framework Model

Complex

Complicated

Unordered Ordered

Disorder

Chaotic Simple

Source: Cognitive Edge (www.cognitiveedge.com)


Control or Emergence

Source: Cognitive Edge (www.cognitiveedge.com)


Questioning Three Assumptions

Assumptions of order

Assumption of rational choice

Assumption of intentional capability


The depth of assumptions

What we see in terms of how

decisionmaking takes place

That which directly influences

management decisionmaking

Deep drivers of our

behavior and the choices

that we make


Ordered Domain – Simple (known)

Cause and Effect:

repeatable, perceivable, and

predictable

Approach:

Sense – Categorise Respond

Methods:

Best practices

Standard operating procedures

Process reengineering

Source: Cognitive Edge (www.cognitiveedge.com)


Ordered domain – Complicated (knowable)

Cause and Effect:

Separated over time and space

Approach:

Sense – Analyse Respond

Methods:

Analytical/reductionist

Scenario planning

Systems thinking

Good practices

Source: Cognitive Edge (www.cognitiveedge.com)


Unordered Domain Complex

Cause and Effect:

Coherent in retrospect and do not

repeat

Approach:

Probe – sense Respond

Methods:

Pattern management

Perspective filters

Complex adaptive systems

Source: Cognitive Edge (www.cognitiveedge.com)


Unordered Domain Chaotic

Cause and Effect:

not perceivable

Approach:

Act – Sense Respond

Methods:

Stability focused intervention

Enactment tools

Crisis management

Source: Cognitive Edge (www.cognitiveedge.com)


Domain of Disorder

Not knowing / agreeing on where a situation lies

Problems interpreted from preference for action

Gives rise to conflict


Cynefin Dynamics

6 SWARMING

7 DIVERGENCE

CONVERGENCE

4 EXPLORATION

5 JUSTINTIME TRANSFER

x

x

1 COLLAPSE

2 IMPOSITION

3 INCREMENTAL

IMPROVEMENT

Source: Cognitive Edge (www.cognitiveedge.com)


Implications

Learning

Participation and power

Strategy

Leadership


Implications

Need different learning strategies for different

situations

Fundamentally challenges the ‘learning lessons’ and

good and best practice ambitions of many

development organisations

Probing means ‘investing in failure’

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