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Narrate, Clophill, MK45 4BE
Recent Activity
This afternoon I’m headed for a meeting near Leatherhead and find myself reminiscing on a train through stations, names and suburban landscape that 35 years ago was very familiar. Trains in this part of South West London were a daily part of life - to school, to friends and to scouts. And the interwoven lines were a network that offered options that a teenager had to weigh up carefully. The dominant trip was easy - a single train from Sutton to Wimbledon five or six days a week, through stations that even now I can rattle off by heart. My... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at partum intelligendo
A great morning at QCon in London today - speaking on using SenseMaker® to understand user requirements better. I had to rush out the door, so didn’t get to hear Chris Matts and Shane Hastie in the afternoon. As promised, the slides are here: Download 001 SenseMaker® frameworks For those who want to know more about Cynefin, SenseMaker and using complexity and narrative, Michael Cheveldave will be running a one-day workshop in New York as an adjunct to the Lean UX conference - the course details will be here next week - book next week and get $50 off. I’d... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2015 at partum intelligendo
If you're thinking about running a project exploring complex issues like culture, there's another chance to kick start a project with the SenseMaker® trainings in Seattle from 11-13th March 2015. As many people know, I've been using SenseMaker® software to understand populations and design and monitor programmes for the past six years. In recent years, more and more people are exploring it - but it can be a daunting beast to start with. So earlier this year, I started running new courses specifically designed to help people run SenseMaker® projects - the subjects have been as varied as culture change,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2015 at partum intelligendo
I'm spending a chunk of today working up a new framework for a new SenseMaker® project. These days it's a task that takes time and thought, but I still remember the first time I had to build one - it was for this Pfizer project. Even with the help of Ron Donaldson and Ruth Needham - two smart colleagues - it was a daunting task. Since then, it's got less frightening - and with the increase in people wanting to run SenseMaker® projects, it's time to share the experience - so next week sees the first of a new series... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2015 at partum intelligendo
Last week saw the last Cynefin and Sense-Making (CSM) courses of the year, Dave and I sharing the presenting/facilitating duties. A full room of different backgrounds and nationalities, which kept everything interesting - lessons and applications getting swapped across sectors and countries. Following up is always a challenge - so much intense material often needs some time to settle. And I'm a big believer in putting some of the exercises to use to discover how best to use them - as I said last week, I can give some examples and indications but there are always more... For practitioners and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at partum intelligendo
It's been an "interesting" few weeks at breakneck pace, so I'm a bit behind in putting things up. So, catching up bit by bit - here are the slides from the ESRC Learning From Incidents seminar at Southampton University on 15th October, along with some reflections from the morning. Download 002 Learning from Incidents - Using SenseMaker® I had to rush away after lunch - missing some sessions that looked particularly interesting that afternoon. But I was particularly struck by a couple of comments in the morning. Firstly, that the toughest element of preventing incidents (by which we're talking power... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2014 at partum intelligendo
As promised, here are the slides from Monday's Health Innovation Network presentation at Guy's Hospital. Download 001 London Health in Innovation - September 2014 For those who wanted to contribute and play with SenseMaker®, here's the website: SenseMaker for Health Innovation - demo site Alternatively, download the app for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or Android and enter the following activity code: NHSLonDemo Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Early bird discount's finished, but there's still time to book on the upcoming Washington DC Cognitive Edge courses - which would be highly recommended even if I weren't teaching with Michael Cheveldave. (I won't be there for the Narrative day on 2nd October, though - I'll have gone to Ottawa by then to work with Thomas Townsend on the Cynefin and Policy course) The breakdown is: 29 Sept: Understanding Complexity - an excellent introduction to understanding the differences between simple, complicated and complex issues, including the different approaches needed for each. 30 Sept: The Cynefin Framework - getting deeper into... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2014 at partum intelligendo
A brief note - but more trips coming up in the diary. While there're specific activities at each stop to be done, I'm open to any conversations/quick meetings. So the travel plans are: Addis Ababa: 1-5 September 2014 Istanbul: 8-10 September 2014 Kigali: 23-26 September 2014 Washington: 29 September-1 October 2014 Ottawa: 2-3 October 2014 Any good to anyone? Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at partum intelligendo
There's a new course coming up - one relevant for anyone interested in public organisations, government and policy-making in uncertain times. Luckily, I'm getting to support the course - I'll be getting to co-teach with Thomas Townsend in Ottawa in early October. The course will be running at HUB Ottawa 71 Bank Street, 6th Floor Ottawa, Canada on Thurs 2nd October-Fri 3rd October 2014. There are more details here and you can register here. If you are a policy professional looking for new practices that increase impact by using advances in complexity science, sense-making, and resilience thinking this is the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at partum intelligendo
I've added a new podcast to my already-lengthy list. It's another BBC one - this time a short 2-3 minute piece each day, summing up news stories of 100 years ago in the lead up to World War I. A few weeks in, and I've already learned plenty, but it highlights a number of key elements that resonate strongly, including some that came up last week in a conversation with a government group about how to build a bigger national narrative: A grander strategic narrative is best built from smaller pieces that we know have resonance Each day, a number... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at partum intelligendo
The other week I pointed out the initial voting to decide what the topic of the upcoming Longitude Problem was going to be. The six possibilities were: Flight How can we fly without damaging the environment? Water How can we ensure everyone can have access to safe and clean water? Paralysis How can we restore movement to those with paralysis? Food How can we ensure everyone has nutritious, sustainable food? Dementia How can we help people with dementia live independently for longer? Antibiotics The public vote decided that Antibiotics is the one on which to focus: In order to tackle... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at partum intelligendo
A compound in a village near Dhaka, Bangladesh Last week saw a return to BRAC in Bangladesh. Working with IRC again, following on from two successful pilots 18 months ago - one around latrine behaviour change, the other around participation and attitudes to Village Wash Committees. This time we were asked back to start a fresh programme, one that is more than a pilot - planning to design it into ongoing work in Bangladesh. The topic this time is to explore issues around hygiene promotion - specifically to gather material to allow the design of new interventions and to help... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Closing on a great week - four day-long courses with Dave Snowden and a stimulating bunch of people in Paddington, some fascinating side meetings, while projects went to field in the background. And yesterday afternoon back for the third year to speak to the IQPC conference. I promised I'd make my slides available from that: Download 001 IQPC presentation on Measure of Effect - June 2014 And now motor through the list before flying out tomorrow to spend a week designing, setting up and starting a brand new SenseMaker® programme in Bangladesh with BRAC. Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2014 at partum intelligendo
That was fun. On the bus last night from Paddington where I'm running the four one-day CSM courses with Dave Snowden. (Tomorrow is on narrative - shaping it, understanding it, researching it. The next set will be in September - you really should be there! Book it here.) As the bus emptied at Warren Street tube station, I noticed something left on the seat across the aisle. It turned out to be an Oyster card, with a name and picture of a school pupil on the front. The student had got off a few stops earlier, but I decided to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at partum intelligendo
More trips coming up in the diary. While there're specific activities at each stop to be done, I'm open to any conversations/quick meetings. So the travel plans are: Dhaka: 22-26 June 2014 Istanbul: 30 June-2 July 2014 Singapore: 14-18 July 2014 Addis Ababa: 1-5 September 2014 Any good to anyone? Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at partum intelligendo
I've noticed I have a tendency to dismiss certain approaches, particularly newer ones that may not have a decent body of theory based on good science behind them, as "the Emperor's new clothes." For those who don't know the story, here's Danny Kaye to explain: (Yes, that's a cheap shot to include a childhood favourite...) Working in organisations, it's often the case that we see a new programme or project brought in that, to our professional eye, is doomed to failure or is based on little more than snake-oil. The temptation - reinforced by Hans Christian Anderson's tale - is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2014 at partum intelligendo
After a good six years of SenseMaker® projects, one of the consistent things has been the difficulty in feeding back results to stakeholders in ways that help them make better decisions. (I'm not a fan of big reports - partly because I think they tend to make great doorstops and bin-fillers, but mostly because I'm a lazy report-writer.) These days I go for interactive sessions (earlier this year we did a great session with one client that combined SenseMaker results, building the Cynefin framework and then Cognitive Edge techniques like safe-to-fail probe design and Ritual Dissent - a great and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Dawn over Mexico City, 19th May 2014 It's hard to believe it's already been three weeks, but 19th-21st May, I was part of a conference in Mexico on Soft Power and Public Diplomacy with Wilton Park, a UK government-related agency that organises thought-provoking and timely conferences around international topics. The conference itself was excellent - a tribute to the organisers who managed to carry the informal, fierce-minded culture of their English home to the warm mountain environment of the Hacienda Cantalagua in Michoacán. As is often the case at such conferences, I can't attribute comments - it operates under the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Thanks for that Tony. You're right - it's only part of the reaction and hence it's only one question about the story - the whole signification framework is how we look in more detail. Your suggestion of level of interest is another - typically I'll get into that element obliquely via questions like "How long will you remember this story" or "Who should hear this story?".
On the course next week, we'll no doubt get to the Longitude problem and the nature of innovation. If you haven't already heard it, I'd highly recommend Dave's video here. In the spirit of the original Longitude prize - how to solve a pressing problem that will have a positive effect on the world - a new Longitude prize fund is being announced. The new version will have a £10 million prize - but the exact nature of the problem is yet to be decided. There are six options currently being considered - and the final problem will be selected... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at partum intelligendo
One week to go until the courses start in London. Details here Dave Snowden and I are teaching Days 1-3, while Dave is doing Day 4. The brochure is here - now get yourself together and I'll see you there! Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at partum intelligendo
If that isn’t you, skip this one - nothing to see here… When I’m building SenseMaker® frameworks, there’s one multiple choice question that I almost always include - and when it’s not finally included, it’s because despite deploying my best persuasive powers the client doesn’t see the need. The question is: When at the start of a SenseMaker® project, it looks like an unnecessary complication - but when analysing Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at partum intelligendo
In among the various podcasts I listen to is You Are Not So Smart - an educating and entertaining podcast much of the time. I caught the latest episode when I was travelling and it's highly pertinent to a couple of projects I'm working on at the moment - it was titled Survivorship Bias. From the summary: The Misconception: You should focus on the successful if you wish to become successful. The Truth: When failure becomes invisible, the difference between failure and success may also become invisible. It's the tendency we have to look at ways of improving a system... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Thanks to everyone who came out last night despite the hockey game in Toronto to sit in a warm room for the Toronto KM group session. Great questions and interrogation last night as we talked about the various projects and learnings from the past few years of SenseMaker® work in a wide variety of countries. As promised, here are the slides I used - and as usual, they're fairly visual, so may not make sense without my talking over the top of them... Download 001 Narrative Research presentation - May 2014 Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2014 at partum intelligendo