Cynefin & Sense-Making – resilience, complexity, knowledge and narrative – San Jose, California
US$945.25 – US$2,495
Cynefin & Sense-Making – resilience, complexity, knowledge and narrative – San Jose, California

Cynefin & Sense-Making – resilience, complexity, knowledge and narrative –...

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Aloft Cupertino, 10165 North De Anza Boulevard

Cupertino CA 95014

Cupertino, CA 95014

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A course designed for people working in constantly-evolving, dynamic situations, dealing daily with uncertainty and risk and building organisations that are both resilient and innovative.  These four days take the latest scientific theory, blends it with practical exercises and abundant examples for a unique and refreshing approach to how to manage organisations and deal with highly complex problems.


Cynefin & Sense-Making is a set of four one-day courses (usually taken as a single four-day course) that dives into complexity theory – and how to apply it in organisations; how to make better decisions, dependent on the situation; cognitive neuroscience – and how it can shape how we build and communicate in organisations; and how to understand and shape narrative – and through it culture.

Each day is built around a balance of theory, exercises and discussion and examples (good and bad) of application to organisational problems.

Participants will gain an understanding of how to develop organisational capacity for:

    • cultural transformation and change
    • building organisational resilience
    • engaging employee-wide scanning for opportunity and threat
    • leveraging emergence for innovation, cross-silo knowledge transfer, and accelerated employee indoctrination
    • stimulating beneficial self-organisation within managed constraints


This  programme is offered on a modular basis so participants can choose which days best meet their needs.  Registration is according to 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, or 4-day tickets.  Typically, most people attend the entire 4-day programme, with short half-hour sessions available before each day starts to summarise previous days.


Day 1: Understanding Complexity – an excellent introduction to understanding the differences between simple, complicated and complex issues, including the different approaches needed for each.

    • Day 1 covers: characteristics of risk & uncertainty, safe-to-fail, resilience, and anticipatory awareness.


Day 2: The Cynefin Framework – getting deeper into tools to help people understand and act on big difficult problems. Building on the Harvard Business Review article, this day teaches tools that have been used in organisations as diverse as the European Commission, multinational telecoms companies and R&D departments of FMCG companies to bring diverse teams together in pursuit of corporate objectives.

    • Day 2 covers: situational assessment, evidence and consensus, managing the dangers of group think and ignored mavericks, and strategies for working in uncertainty & complexity.


Day 3: The Organisation and Knowledge – from the science of how we make decisions to the social nature of knowledge-sharing, this day covers the practicalities of understanding what key elements of knowledge exist in the organisation and how to gain better advantage from them. Practical exercises extend to breaking silo mentalities and using complex facilitation techniques in all sorts of organisations.

    • Day 3 covers: working with and disrupting cognitive bias, mapping knowledge flows in contrast with process, and stimulating social network creation and density.


Day 4: The Use of Narrative – Understanding current narratives, shaping future ones and using narrative tools are effective ways of engaging with audiences, dealing with culture, customer experience and public engagement. This day is key for anyone whose job is communicating with audiences and changing behaviours.

    • Day 4 covers: Applying narrative for communicating, research/monitoring, knowledge capture, and making sense of culture through narrative archetype forms.


Download the PDF Brochure for additional details

Event Facilitator will be Professor Dave Snowden, Tony Quinlan or Michael Chelvedave will be co-facilitating.

Dave Snowden was formerly a Director in the IBM Institute for Knowledge Management where he led programmes on comple-xity and narrative. He is a leading keynote speaker at major conferences around the world and is known for his extensive use of stories to communicate what would otherwise be difficult concepts.  Dave Snowden has an MBA from Middlesex University and a BA in Philosophy from Lancaster University. He teaches on various university programmes throughout the world. He regularly consults at the board level with some of the world’s largest companies as well as to Government and NGOs. 


Cognitive Edge reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule the offered session.  In the event of cancelation or rescheduling, a full refund of course fees will be processed within 10 business days of cancellation or rescheduling notice.  Cancellations by registrants are only permitted with a minimum of 3 weeks notice ahead of course delivery date with refunds provided less a 10% processing fee. Substitutions are permitted at any time as well as rescheduling attendance to an alternate session within a 12 month period.

Explanation of the ticket choices:

    1. If you are part of a group of FOUR (4) or more people, each attending three (3) or more days of training, then please email for a group discount.
    2. Premium Members get 15% discount on all training. Sign up for the Network here: Cognitive Edge network registration for a Basic membership. When you’ve done that you’ll be directed to the Network Dashboard page, click on the upgrade option to pay to become a Premium member and use the 15% discount code.


NOTE: Group discounts cannot be used cumulatively with Network Membership discounts. If you have further questions, please contact

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Date and Time

Aloft Cupertino, 10165 North De Anza Boulevard

Cupertino CA 95014

Cupertino, CA 95014

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