The Cynefin Framework

The Cynefin Framework helps you make better decisions by understanding the situation/context you are in and using a decision-making method that is appropriate. Different problems require different solutions. The Cynefin framework has five domains.The first four domains are: Obvious – replacing the previously used terminology Simple from early 2014 – in which the relationship between … Continue reading The Cynefin Framework

The nature of problems

Let’s look at the nature of problems. Problems can be classified into three categories: simple ones (“cause and effect” is obvious) complicated ones (“cause and effect” is operating but is less obvious) complex adaptive ones (no obvious “cause and effect”) Let’s give an everyday example of each. Simple: Problem: the tap (faucet) is dripping. Solution: … Continue reading The nature of problems

There are no solutions to complex problems only responses

Karl Popper, the great philosopher of science, once divided the world into two categories: clocks and clouds. Clocks are neat, orderly systems that can be solved through reduction; clouds are an epistemic mess, “highly irregular, disorderly, and more or less unpredictable.” The mistake of modern science is to pretend that everything is a clock, which … Continue reading There are no solutions to complex problems only responses

Unintended consequences In a complex system, every purposeful action produces unintended consequences

In a complex adaptive system, unintended consequences (sometimes called unanticipated consequences or unforeseen consequences) are outcomes that are not the ones intended or foreseen. Every new invention changes the world — in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability … Continue reading Unintended consequences In a complex system, every purposeful action produces unintended consequences