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Introduction to Complexity Science & #Cynefin for Agile and Lean Teams

In this talk, Will Evans (and potentially Jabe Bloom) will provide an introduction to complexity theory and Dave Snowden's #Cynefin Framework, and how it can be used for problem space exploration by strategists, managers, and product teams within the context of complex, adaptive systems.

Discover practical and pragmatic heuristics, backed up with rigorous theory, to manage product design for Agile or Lean teams under conditions of uncertainty; understand the power of narrative; and discover new ways to use human sensing networks utilizing the #Cynefin Sense-making framework. We'll use everyday, real-world examples of challenges teams face in allocating resources for discovery and product innovation. This will be an introduction for people interested in #Cynefin.


Cynefin is a sense-making framework, which means that its value is not so much in logical arguments or empirical verifications (Snowdendistinguishes this from traditional 2×2 matrices that MBAs and management consultants often use) as in its effect on the sense-making and decision-making capabilities of those who use it.

The Cynefin framework gives decision-makers new constructs and ontologies to make sense of a wide range of unspecified problems. It also helps break out of old ways of thinking and to consider intractable problems in new ways. The framework is particularly useful in collective sense-making, in that it is designed to allow shared understandings to emerge through the multiple discourses of the decision-making group. While we have made significant use of the framework, we thought it would be valuable to receive more formal training.


#Cynefin is a sense-making framework created by David Snowden at Cognitive Edge. They will be presenting a series of workshops in November in New York City. For those interested in the 4 days of workshops, check it out here

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  • Tiani J.

    Wonderfully informative with great examples of how to apply the concepts.

    September 25, 2013

  • Mehboob A.

    Sorry, can't make this new date.

    September 14, 2013

  • Will E.

    Heya, We're sold out for this show. If you can't make it, could you decline the meetup so more spots open up - as you know, it's a tight space.

    As always, we're providing wine and cheese for the event - so come and eat $5 worth of cheese, even if you don't want to hear me speak. - W

    2 · September 6, 2013

    • Mehboob A.

      I've cleared my schedule for this, since I couldnt afford the full day seminars.. the $5 preview will have to do for now, sadly :)

      September 6, 2013

  • Anthony V.

    Really looking forward to this. If you have no idea what Cynefin is, check out this HBR article: http://hbr.org/2007/11/a-leaders-framework-for-decision-making/

    August 31, 2013

  • Will E.

    @Nathan Yeah - it's gonna be fun. And hard. There will be exercises.

    August 16, 2013

  • Nathan G.

    wooooooooooo

    August 16, 2013

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