2H2016 training image - CSMs
Tony Quinlan

Cognitive Edge announces training courses for 2016 – Cynefin and Sense-Making courses

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As we head into the Northern Summer/Southern Winter (delete as applicable), we’re announcing our timetable of new training courses for the second half of 2016.

Over the next few months, we’re expanding our portfolio of courses to include subject-specific versions of courses for Agile practitioners and government policy-makers, alongside the pre-existing courses.  Rather than one long blogpost, we’ll be doing four separate announcements in the next week, covering SenseMaker® courses, practitioner-focused courses on complexity and the Cynefin framework and finally partner-led subject-specific courses.

We start today with the ground-breaking Cynefin and Sense-Making (CSM) courses – and some good news. Despite the recent launch of the Cynefin Centre at Bangor University (catch the inaugural lecture here if you haven’t already) along with its various commitments – and despite a travel schedule that makes Phineas Fogg look like a lethargic loafer, we’ve managed to get Dave Snowden for a handful more of our flagship four-day courses in 2016.

These courses are recommended for anyone looking for innovative ways of developing their organisation, anyone dealing with complex changing problems and anyone tired of current frustrations and approaches that don’t bring anticipated results.

This series of four one-day courses opens up new ways of seeing and addressing organisational problems and is aimed at thinkers and doers alike. And the usual vibrant mix of participants allows for excellent cross-fertilisation of ideas and learning – the recent Amsterdam course covered organisational development consultants, Agile software developers, government policy-makers and implementers, NGO advisers and more.

What kinds of problems do they address?

  • Building resilience for future uncertainty
  • Creating better knowledge flows between diverse groups
  • Developing effective approaches to difficult problems
  • Understanding populations (of employees, beneficiaries, customers, etc) to support smarter interventions
  • Augmenting leaders and their decision-making without imposing further bureaucracy

These four one-day courses are led by Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge’s Chief Scientific Officer, and are the best way to immerse yourself in the latest thinking on complexity, narrative and the application of these approaches to organisational practice. Dave is supported on these courses by Cognitive Edge practitioner colleagues – usually one of Michael Cheveldave, Zhen Goh or Tony Quinlan.

You can take any of the days singly or in combination, just register on the site and let us know which days you’re planning on attending.

The four days feature Dave Snowden, Professor at the Centre for Applied Complexity at Bangor University and cover:

Day 1 – Understanding complexity

Learn how to put complexity theory to practice. Day 1 covers: characteristics of risk & uncertainty, safe-to-fail, resilience and anticipatory awareness.

Day 2 – The Cynefin framework

Learn how to apply Cynefin for sense-making, change, and decision support. Day 2 covers: situational assessment, evidence and consensus, managing the dangers of group think and ignored mavericks, and strategies for working in uncertainty & complexity.

Day 3 – The organisation and knowledge

Learn how to create and manage situations and environments for enhanced innovation and knowledge flow. Day 3 covers: working with and disrupting cognitive bias, mapping knowledge flows in contrast with process, and stimulating social network creation and density.

Day 4 – The use of narrative

Learn how to work with narrative in facilitated sessions and in large volumes with SenseMaker®. Day 4 covers: Applying narrative for communicating, research/monitoring, knowledge capture, and making sense of culture through narrative archetype forms.


As on all our courses, there are discounts for groups attending the courses (book three people and a fourth can attend free), for academics, NGOs and Premium Cognitive Edge network members.  Contact Lisa at training@cognitive-edge.com for more details and discount codes.

Tailored courses

What does your organisation need to know?

We also realise that some organisations may want the skills provided by these courses, but applied in a specific environment dealing with sensitive or confidential information. If you would prefer an in-house confidential training, contact us.

Recent in-house courses have covered the basics of Cynefin, Complex Facilitation Techniques and elements of SenseMaker® projects for tech manufacturers, agile coaches, digital marketing experts, aid and development organisations and more.