July 20, 2021
Ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, Mοῦσα, πολύπλοκον: some thoughts around trying to translate Cynefin into Greek
Unless this is the first time you have stumbled across this blog by accident, you might have come across the […]
July 19, 2021
Pleaches, Liggers & the ‘C’ words
Two interesting sets of interactions on social media triggered today’s post.  One was a distinction made between cutting down a […]
July 11, 2021
Natural science as counter-factual
I originally intended to publish this post way back in May and got all the notes together but a mixture […]
March 3, 2021
Cynefin St David’s 2021 (3 of 3)
Cynefin has always been about boundaries which critical to human sense-making.  Give people a spectrum and they will settle where […]
March 2, 2021
Cynefin St David’s 2021 (2 of 3)
As indicated in yesterday’s post I promised to talk today about the recommended way to create the Cynefin Framework.  It’s […]
March 1, 2021
Cynefin St David’s 2021 (1 of 3)
As is now the tradition I am using St David’s Day to provide the annual update on Cynefin.  Last year […]
February 14, 2021
“…inspired by the Cynefin framework”
My weekend was disrupted, but in a good way and no it wasn’t that  Wales defeated Scotland in what we […]
February 1, 2021
Root ’cause’ & complexity
There are two major forms of stupidity on the various debates that sprint on social media from time to time. […]
January 13, 2021
Physical aporia
In this final, for the moment, post on creating aporia I want to focus on the ways in which physical […]
January 12, 2021
Aesthetic aporia
This is the second post in my three-part series on creating aporia and I will admit I was worried yesterday […]
January 11, 2021
Linguistic aporia
My post of the day before yesterday expressed concern about the general dumbing down of discourse and I explicitly linked […]
January 2, 2021
Twelvetide 20:09 Manege and menage
I think a lot of people don’t realise how novel the complexity stuff still and how threatening (needlessly) it is […]
December 21, 2020
Returning to constraints
The more astute reader may have noticed that I have been writing a series of blog posts that update previous […]
December 2, 2020
Spinning the Cynefin discs
Today’s post is a development of yesterday’s and I plan to look at the various overlapping aspects of a situation […]
December 1, 2020
Triple point & the knobbly bits
Now I want to make it very clear up front that I know this doesn’t work as drawn, it’s an […]
November 8, 2020
The need for order
When I was at school, way back in the days of the white-hot heat of technological optimism, the local printers […]
November 6, 2020
Cynefin21 and the book
The first of what will be several piles of Cynefin books arrived today, my priority is to autograph copies for […]
November 1, 2020
Cynefin Innovation
Around Asia with Cynefin – Innovation & Digital Transformation with ThoughtWorks China
We are coming to the end of our 21 days of Cynefin, and we are now on the last stop […]
October 26, 2020
Around Asia with Cynefin – Sitting at the mouth of the Dragon with Les Hales, Hong Kong
I have just finished reading this amazing book cover-to-cover: In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century. I […]
October 22, 2020
Around Asia with Cynefin – Organisational Development & Coaching in Japan, with Yoichi and Chikako
We have taken a bit of a gander around South Asia and Southeast Asia, and now we will point our […]
October 20, 2020
Around Asia with Cynefin – Agile in India, with Naresh Jain
Naresh Jain is an internationally recognised Technology & Product Development Expert. He started the Agile movement in India by creating […]
October 19, 2020
Around Asia with Cynefin – Agile in the Philippines with The Escañans
I met Ealden and Lhiza Escañan, both Agile coaches, when the husband and wife team attended a Cynefin Foundations training […]
October 16, 2020
Around Asia with Cynefin – KM in India with Rudolf
Rudolf D’Souza‘s journey with Cynefin started in 2004 with a KM Asia Conference in Singapore. He has been a practitioner […]
October 15, 2020
Around Asia with Cynefin – Kicking off in Singapore
October is busy! This week has been a whirlwind of activity. Cynefin is turning 21, did you hear? Have you […]
September 10, 2020
The Triopticon revisited
Back in October 2017, I published a blog post on what I was then calling the Ticotocon.  The context of […]
March 27, 2020
Aporetic Meditations
These have been trying times. Yesterday, I watched our National Development Minister tear up at a national address as he […]
March 27, 2020
Cynefin St David’s Day (5 of 5)
I don’t know if I displaying a keen anticipatory capability in focusing on Disorder, the all too often ignored fifth […]
March 16, 2020
Cynefin St David’s Day (4 of 5)
In this penultimate post in the current series, I want to look at what you can manage in the complex […]
March 10, 2020
Cynefin St David’s Day (3 of 5)
In my prior post in this series, I said I wanted to explore the idea of aporia in more depth but […]
March 3, 2020
Cynefin St David’s Day 2020 (2 of 5)
In my first post in this series, I talked about the renaming of the disorder domain into A/C (for short) […]
March 1, 2020
Cynefin Framework
Cynefin St David’s Day 2020 (1 of 5)
On St David’s Day last year, I started a five-part series of posts to update the Cynefin Framework, all illustrated […]
October 22, 2019
mycorrhiza: abstraction & codification
In 2002 I published Complex Acts of Knowing, the first major article to include Cynefin in its near current form; if […]
October 15, 2019
mycorrhiza: Introduction
A mycorrhiza is a symbiosis between a fungus and a green plant. The plant captures and transmits the energy of […]
October 14, 2019
Breaking the forest cycle
I’ve been meaning to write about the “forest cycle” or the supposed necessity of chaos for some time.  Yesterday’s post […]
October 13, 2019
Separated by a common language?
From time to time in social media I resist the temptation to respond when people talk about the Stacy Matrix; […]
August 24, 2019
Cynefin & perception
Various social media feeds link me daily to discussions about the use of the Cynefin Framework.  Sometimes I take part, […]
June 8, 2019
Cynefin & Theory of Constraints – Webinar II
This week CE hosted an open webinar on the topic of Cynefin & Theory of Constraints.  This webinar featured CE practitioners and TOC […]
April 20, 2019
Cynefin St David’s Day 2019 (5 of 5)
In my final post in this update series on Cynefin and I’m reserving the right to change things when I […]
April 19, 2019
Liminal Cynefin & ‘control’
I was searching for my original known-unknown-unknowable matrix for today’s post and, as you do, came across a variation of […]
April 18, 2019
Cynefin St David’s Day 2019 (4 of 5)
The introduction of liminality to Cynefin necessitated a slight rethinking of the main dynamics within Cynefin.  To be clear multiple […]
April 17, 2019
Cynefin St David’s Day 2019 (3 of 5)
The introduction of the liminal version of Cynefin was probably the most significant change in recent years.  One of the […]
April 16, 2019
Cynefin St David’s Day 2019 (2 of 5)
It’s taken longer than I hoped but I now have the time to complete my series of five update posts […]
March 5, 2019
Cynefin St David’s Day 2019 (1 of 5)
An email came in yesterday from our new CEO Marion asking if I could explain why I had changed simple […]
December 24, 2018
Culture 7 of 7: Completion
When I started this series I said I was going to follow the metaphor of creating a painting with a […]
December 23, 2018
Culture 6 of 7: Adjustments
In any art work the final adjustments mean that we are nearing completion, in cultural change I want to argue, […]
December 22, 2018
Culture 5 of 7: Colouring in
The big issues are now behind us in this series and the final three posts (with the promised twist on […]
December 21, 2018
Culture 4 of 7: Light and Dark
Chiaroscuro is an art term, Italian in origin which refers to light and dark. It originated in an artistic technique […]
December 20, 2018
Culture 3 of 7: Identify the big shapes
While having specific goals is not possible in a complex system, and any cultural change is complex, it doesn’t mean […]
December 19, 2018
Culture 2 of 7: the canvass
I’m using the metaphor of a painting to provide structure to this series and all paintings have to start somewhere. […]
November 26, 2018
Culture 1 of 7: the subject
The Oxford English Dictionary defines culture as “The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively” and “The […]
September 27, 2018
Design, value & constraint
The pictures here are from the first ever Cynefin Retreat in Snowdonia last year; our fourth retreat, the third of […]
June 14, 2018
Leadership & integrity
I’ve got a lot more posts lined up in the Alice series, but I’m going to interrupt as the mood […]
May 25, 2018
Scaling the Edge: Cynefin™ as a journey
For most of my life I’ve been working with various forms of symbiosis and synthesis. Bringing the natural sciences as […]
February 2, 2018
A foreword to a Cynefin book
I finished off the foreword to a forthcoming book about Cynefin in Japanese a day or so ago. I wrote it in […]
January 20, 2018
Synderesis in Cynefin
I probably shouldn’t have brought an ancient scholastic text book with me but I still have a fondness for it, […]
January 19, 2018
Phronēsis in Cynefin
I’ve talked about some of the intellectual origins of Cynefin and yesterday addressed the question of quiddity, on in more […]
January 18, 2018
The quiddity of Cynefin
For those not familiar with it, quiddity is not about games played by wizards (although for all I know it […]
November 4, 2017
Liminal Cynefin - image
Liminal Cynefin – image release
I decided it would be a good idea to make the image of Cynefin available, if only to reduce the […]
October 30, 2017
Authenticity in Cynefin
The picture here is of Michael Bryant as Mathieu Delarue in the BBC production of Sartre’s The Roads to Freedom. […]
October 27, 2017
Liminal Cynefin: the final cut?
The liminal version of Cynefin has been slowly evolving over the last few months. It was getting close in August […]
September 10, 2017
Thoughts on doctrine & inclusion
Over the years I have had various emails, social media links and other links to various versions of the Cynefin […]
August 30, 2017
Yes but… (and the Isaiah moment is still with us)
Coming to the end of two weeks in New Zealand and I’ve been struck by a dreaded lurgy, or possibly […]
August 27, 2017
The knotty issue of constraints
  I’ve been developing a theory of constraints both as a method for strategy mapping and as a way of […]
August 22, 2017
Liminal & situated strategy
I was originally going to move on to post about constraints but a early meeting this morning involved a stimulating […]
August 21, 2017
Liminal Cynefin, stepping over the threshold
I’ve been frantic the last few months with a lot of long standing wishes and dreams that are all coming […]
July 10, 2017
The first Cynefin retreat
  I debated using images of a mediaeval religious retreat to open this post, but then moved on to the […]
June 22, 2017
On Experts, expertise and power
Remember Nurse Ratched in One Flew over the Cookoo’s Nest? Louise Fletcher won the Oscar for a brilliant portrayal of […]
June 20, 2017
Liminal Cynefin
The Cynefin framework tends to be used in the main to categories situations within the four main domains (and for […]
May 28, 2017
Boundaries as domain shadows
I’ve been teaching a masterclass her in India to a mixed group and took the opportunity to push myself to […]
February 1, 2017
On energy gradients
  Now bear with me on this as I am thinking aloud …. I woke up this morning to a […]
January 11, 2017
Options in uncertainty
In my last couple of posts I have been talking abound boundary conditions in Cynefin. I now want to extend […]
January 10, 2017
Pathways with purpose?
I’ve done the ascent and descent of the path to Llyn Bochlywd at the base of Tryfan in North Wales […]
January 9, 2017
Boundary conditions
For various complex reasons which started with a casual throw away remark at Lean Agile Scotland followed by a brief […]
December 3, 2016
The domain of disorder (iii)
I made the point yesterday that the disordered domain within Cynefin is one of false confidence, assuming you know how […]
December 2, 2016
The domain of disorder (ii)
Most people who have walked in the mountains will have experienced a temperature inversion at some stage. You suddenly discover […]
December 1, 2016
The domain of disorder (i)
I’m out to Milan tomorrow and I am starting to feel like a Typhoid Mary for the unexpected having been […]
October 1, 2016
Group cohesiveness & individual effort
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the murmuration of starlings. I’d arrived at the Hilton in Rome which […]
September 26, 2016
… or pseudo-scientific?
A long time ago I settling into a new strategic role within DataScience following the best part of a decade […]
September 25, 2016
… but is it scientific?
I landed in Melbourne after two long flights but with the satisfaction of an email in box reduced to 40 […]
February 6, 2016
generating fruitful patterns
Back in May 2011 I got an email from Max Boisot, pictured enthusiastically engaged in a ritual food ceremony in […]
January 28, 2016
Fragments of Impact – an update
Back in June 2015, we began the Fragments of Impact programme, partnering with UNDP, to explore how to use SenseMaker® […]
January 25, 2016
From NYC to Whitehorse, Yukon
One of the aspects of sense-making we emphasize in all our training programmes is the value of contrast. Since complex […]
September 9, 2015
On the value of order
One of my favourite Cynefin related Gaping Void cartoons. A key aspect of Cynefin is that it respects the value […]
August 28, 2015
Oh no we’re not …
In my last post I asked the question Are we doomed to chaos? I planned to answer the question with […]
July 31, 2015
The table napkin test
One of the golden rules of sense-making is that any framework or model that can’t be drawn on a table […]
July 30, 2015
Triggering attention in Cynefin
Cynefin as a framework has always been as much about dynamic movement between domains as it has been about the […]
July 6, 2015
Cynefin and cluster connectivity
I recently heard that Complex Acts of Knowing had been assessed as a classic paper in Knowledge Management, moreover it […]
July 3, 2015
Fractality and Cynefin
A fractal in mathematics describes a phenomena where similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, each pattern or instance is […]
July 2, 2015
Cynefin dynamics
In yesterday’s post I looked at my decision to use constraints in the definition of the main Cynefin domains. I […]
July 1, 2015
The birth of constraints to define Cynefin
Cynefin has always gone through mutations over time, sometimes the changes are visually significant, sometimes linguistically. One of the things […]
May 14, 2015
Fragments of Impact – Launching a six-month UNDP/Cognitive Edge initiative into working with complex problems
Cognitive Edge and UNDP are together launching a unique initiative  to engage with new ways of working on difficult problems […]
December 11, 2013
Great is the power of steady misrepresentation
I promised yesterday to clarify some aspects of Cynefin.  This was triggered by Roger's Linked In post and some of […]
December 10, 2013
Language is the master of man
There is an interesting phenomena at the moment in that various people are trying to define themselves either by, or […]
September 8, 2013
Cynefin v45º complete
Today was a rest and relaxation day here in Tuscany.  I went for a swim at 0700, few others saw […]
September 3, 2013
Context & Cynefin
Before moving on to the Simple Domain model I wanted to say a little bit more about the purpose and […]
September 3, 2013
Simple Domain v45º
In this continued series on the Cynefin domain models we now come to Simple, which leave Complex and a more […]
September 1, 2013
Chaotic domain v45º
My last version of the chaotic domain model also went through significant change at the Seattle event, over and above […]
August 30, 2013
Complicated domain v45º
The advanced seminar we held in Seattle earlier this month was very useful in developing a whole bunch of stuff, […]
June 14, 2013
The Chaotic domain
So in the last in this series of updates, we move to the chaotic domain.  As I have previously explained […]
June 13, 2013
The Simple Domain
So moving on from yesterday we come to the Simple Domain.  I normally present this with a Gaping Void cartoon […]
June 13, 2013
The Simple Domain
So moving on from yesterday we come to the Simple Domain.  I normally present this with a Gaping Void cartoon […]
June 12, 2013
The complicated domain
Part of the new training programme is a day two focus on Cynefin and the sub-domain models.   I’ve previously […]
June 12, 2013
The complicated domain
Part of the new training programme is a day two focus on Cynefin and the sub-domain models.   I've previously […]
May 23, 2013
Chaos & disorder
I often get asked about the two transitionary domains in Cynefin and its not in frequent for people to assume […]