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Leadership insights

Making decisions in uncertainty - a practical introduction to Cynefin

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

A view of the workshop with a full room
A great workshop with Dean Latchana, learning through practice about Cynefin

Thank you to those who made it to our meetup on Monday the 1st of July - Making decisions in uncertainty - a practical introduction to Cynefin, and thank you to Dean for sharing with us a great approach to learn through practice.

Please see more from Dean at :

We started with an exercise called the 4-point exercise, using some Accident and Emergency scenarios. This helped introducing the difficulty of assessing the context to make the right decisions.

A view of the people working at tables during the workshop
Room working out the A&E scenarios

Dean then walked us through the Cynefin framework and its 5 Domains: Disorder, Obvious, Complicated and Complex.

As we went along we captured some scenarios from IT situations that the audience would have experienced. Interesting how many actually fit the Complex domain, yet we often tend to go about them analysing the perfect solution. This explains why large programmes of work often find themselves challenged. Interestingly, we could not place "Agile transformation" elsewhere than Disorder.

A view of the different submissions from the work in teams as post-its on to a Cynefin framework allowing to make sense of those for adapting the response types
Problems and opportunities laid on the Cynefin framework

After positioning those we looked at some of the dynamics between the domains and took a few contributions as example.

Sorry that there will not be a video of the workshop as it was very interactive, which is difficult to film.


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