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Advanced Cynefin®: Liminality and Sense-Making in Complexity

This course is brought to you by Toyota Connected Agile Academy.

In this advanced class, Dave Snowden, the creator of the Cynefin® framework, will address agility, strategy, innovation, and leadership from the point of view of complexity, resilience, cognitive sciences, and sense-making.

Toyota Connected

Learn Right in the Heart of Toyota Connected

This is a one-time special event provided by Toyota Connected. A unique opportunity to learn complexity science from the creator of the Cynefin® framework, teaching right in the heart of Toyota.

Understanding Complexity

Fundamental to this course is understanding what it means to work, manage, and lead in different contexts and the implications of those contexts being ordered, complex, or chaotic.

Anthro-complexity, or the complexity of human systems, acknowledges our ability to create order and structure in our organizations. However, recognizing our limits and capabilities in creating, sustaining, or shifting between such states is key to achieving strategic agility, resilience, and overall system effectiveness.

The Cynefin® framework, and related methods, help teams, managers, and leaders to make decisions and take actions in such environments.

Sessions by Dave Snowden

Advanced topics* to be covered over the two days include:

  • Cynefin® framework with a focus on current developments and additions;
  • Liminal Cynefin® and dynamics;
  • Advanced typology of constraints;
  • An overview of relations with, and implications for: Agile, Lean, Systems Thinking, Design Thinking, Theory of Constraints;
  • Narrative and sense-making;
  • Apex Predator Theory;
  • Vector Theory of Change.

* – Some topics are covered as an overview while others are covered in depth. Questions and participant dialogue add richness to Advanced Courses and form part of the learning experience. Time constraints and/or faster delivery pace may result in less or more topics being covered.

Dave will teach at least half of each day’s class. There will be time to meet and talk to Dave in between, and ample opportunities for photos with him inside Toyota.

Sessions facilitated by Cynefin® trainers

Exercises and methods** to be experienced over the two days include:

  • Cynefin® Lego game
  • Linear Cynefin™
  • 4-points
  • Safe-to-fail portfolio creation
  • Ritual dissent

** – additional methods may be added or removed depending on time availability

Commander Brian ‘Ponch’ Rivera will be joined by Michael Cheveldave who is a lead trainer and facilitator with Cognitive Edge. They will lead you through many experiential learning activities to complement the deep dives Dave will take you on.

Class Pre-requisites (who should attend)

As this is an advanced Cynefin® course, all registered participants will be required to do some pre-study prior to attending. Attendees who have already taken Cynefin® training either online or in-person will have completed all necessary requirements and at their discretion can refresh their knowledge with recommended pre-reading and online materials.

Registrants with minimal or no background will be expected to complete study pre-reading material as well as a compressed online Cynefin® course (included with the registration fee). These materials will be made available 5 weeks or more before the course start.

Course Content

Each day is divided into four sessions. Dave Snowden will teach theory during two morning sessions each day while an Authorized Cynefin® Trainer(s) will lead exercises during the other two sessions, building connections between theory and practice. The sequence of the theory and practice sessions may adjust from Day 1 to Day 2.


All participants will receive a personally-signed certificate of training from both Toyota Connected and Cognitive Edge. All certificates will be personally signed by Dave Snowden and Nigel Thurlow (Chief of Agile). These in themselves will be collectible items.


Toyota Connected is a fully accessible building.

A light breakfast and full lunch will be provided both days and a range of dietary options are catered for, including vegan and vegetarian, as well as gluten free. Please notify us in advance if you have additional needs.

Everyone attending the class will be required to sign in daily, which includes taking your photograph and signing an NDA. Toyota Connected is a working office and attendees may see actual work in progress, and the NDA is your agreement not to disclose anything you might see during your time onsite.



October 30, 2019 – October 31, 2019


8:30 am – 5:00 pm


From: USD 1995