Understanding complexity - The Cynefin framework

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Information about Understanding complexity - The Cynefin framework
Business & Mgmt

Published on December 7, 2008

Author: kdelarue

Source: slideshare.net

Description

A brief overview of the Cynefin framework, with discussion on complexity, and why it is important to understand how organisations work in order to implement change.

Understanding complex organisations: The Cynefin model Keith De La Rue

Why complexity theory? “ One recent study of 40 companies found that 58% of change initiatives failed to reach their goals” McKinsey Quarterly, 2002 We need to understand how organisations work, before we can effectively change them Organisations now depend more on people Complex, unpredictable, dynamic Resistant to engineering Change is only made possible by people

“ One recent study of 40 companies found that 58% of change initiatives failed to reach their goals”

McKinsey Quarterly, 2002

We need to understand how organisations work, before we can effectively change them

Organisations now depend more on people

Complex, unpredictable, dynamic

Resistant to engineering

Change is only made possible by people

The Cynefin Framework A way to look at the nature of organisations An understanding of complexity Tools to work with the environment “Sensemaking” Developed by David Snowden, Cognitive Edge Welsh: “habitat, place” Conveys the sense that we all have multiple pasts of which we are only partly aware: cultural, religious, geographic, tribal, etc

A way to look at the nature of organisations

An understanding of complexity

Tools to work with the environment

“Sensemaking”

Developed by David Snowden, Cognitive Edge

Welsh: “habitat, place”

Conveys the sense that we all have multiple pasts of which we are only partly aware: cultural, religious, geographic, tribal, etc

Complex Cause and effect coherent in retrospect, repeat accidentally – unpredictable Frog Complicated Cause and effect separated over time & space, but repeat – analysable Knowable 747 Simple Cause & effect relations repeatable & predictable Known Bicycle Chaos No cause and effect relationships generally perceivable House on fire

Complex

Cause and effect coherent in retrospect, repeat accidentally – unpredictable

Frog

Complicated

Cause and effect separated over time & space, but repeat – analysable

Knowable

747

Simple

Cause & effect relations repeatable & predictable

Known

Bicycle

Chaos

No cause and effect relationships generally perceivable

House on fire

Complex Multiple small and diverse interventions to create options Probe-sense-respond Complicated Analytical techniques to determine facts and option range Sense-analyse-respond Simple Standard processes with review cycles and clear measures Sense-categorise-respond Chaos Single or multi actions to stabilise situations Act-sense-respond

Complex

Multiple small and diverse interventions to create options

Probe-sense-respond

Complicated

Analytical techniques to determine facts and option range

Sense-analyse-respond

Simple

Standard processes with review cycles and clear measures

Sense-categorise-respond

Chaos

Single or multi actions to stabilise situations

Act-sense-respond

Complex Informal Emergence Social Media Complicated Domain of experts Good practice 20 th Century Simple “ Business as usual” Best practice 19 th Century Chaos Novel Crisis Catastrophic change Ordered Unordered Disorder

Complex

Informal

Emergence

Social Media

Complicated

Domain of experts

Good practice

20 th Century

Simple

“ Business as usual”

Best practice

19 th Century

Chaos

Novel

Crisis

Catastrophic change

Ordered

Organisations are complex Dynamic, with rich interactions Different people operating at different levels Feedback Non-linear, unpredictable Emergent characteristics Whole different to sum of parts Small changes can have large impacts History can make a difference

Dynamic, with rich interactions

Different people operating at different levels

Feedback

Non-linear, unpredictable

Emergent characteristics

Whole different to sum of parts

Small changes can have large impacts

History can make a difference

Emergence Fly to the centre Match speed Avoid collision (But humans are more complex) http://www.flickr.com/photos/moriza/

Fly to the centre

Match speed

Avoid collision

(But humans are more complex)

Simple wisdom doesn’t apply “ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result” In a complex environment, doing the same thing twice will give a different result “ You can't fix what you can't measure” You can intervene in a complex environment, even though you can’t measure it reliably

“ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result”

In a complex environment, doing the same thing twice will give a different result

“ You can't fix what you can't measure”

You can intervene in a complex environment, even though you can’t measure it reliably

Further information David Snowden, Cognitive Edge: http://www.cognitive-edge.com/ Shawn Callahan, Anecdote: http://www.anecdote.com.au/ Keith De La Rue, AcKnowledge Consulting: http://acknowledgeconsulting.com

David Snowden, Cognitive Edge:

http://www.cognitive-edge.com/

Shawn Callahan, Anecdote:

http://www.anecdote.com.au/

Keith De La Rue, AcKnowledge Consulting:

http://acknowledgeconsulting.com

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