UNDP Innovation Conversation on Complexity 27 September, 2017 – video available

UNDP Innovation Conversation on Complexity 27 September, 2017 – video available

Last week, Tony gave a talk at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Navigating Complex Adaptive Systems. Brilliantly hosted by the UNDP Innovation team, particularly Malika, the video from the hour-long presentation is here The presentation looked at the core elements of complexity, how to approach dealing with complex systems and included questions on […]

Last chance for Toronto courses

Last chance for Toronto courses

This time next week I'll be heading for Toronto, where Michael Cheveldave will be starting the first Toronto course.  Details are here – Toronto – 4 courses in May 2014 Last chance to book – there are still a handful of places available for each day.  (Although fewer for the narrative day, so be quick) […]

Getting more good results – while avoiding the “Best Practice” trap

Getting more good results – while avoiding the “Best Practice” trap

Next week in New York, I’m with Cognitive Edge and UNDP exploring how to scale up projects without falling into the “duplicate and enlarge” trap. Development experts and scientists from ecology, neuroscience and complexity are coming together to look at what new approaches we can fashion that work more practically and effectively than current approaches to scaling up.

Cynefin course

Cynefin course

Two upcoming courses that I'd highly recommend – and not just because I'm helping teach them these days.  I've recommended the Cognitive Edge courses for years, but this year has seen a major refresh of the content and approach to the material.  It's a real combination of solid theory, exercises and practical examples – all […]

Understanding narratives – the reality of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency

Understanding narratives – the reality of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency

The Prime Minister, towards the end of his initial comments, said: “In sum, we must frustrate the terrorists with our security, we must beat them militarily, we must address the poisonous narrative they feed on, we must close down the ungoverned space in which they thrive, and we must deal with the grievances that they use to garner support. … Pre-defined categories and questions can be too directive – gaining us at best answers that fit within our previous suspicions, at worst allowing the people we’re hearing the opportunity to give us the stories they think we want to hear. (cf The Hoaxing of Margaret Mead) The poisonous narrative is a tempting but dangerous notion.

The motion of Heavenly Bodies

The motion of Heavenly Bodies

Busy writing proposals today – a series of workshops on leadership, collaboration and culture; an exploration of national attitudes in Africa; and a debate on the role of narrative in defence and military operations. … A perfect piece for distinguishing between the Complicated world, where prediction and analysis apply, and the Complex world, which relies instead on understanding where the emergent patterns of a system might lead next.

The weight of cattle – an extruded parable…

The weight of cattle – an extruded parable…

Whenever I’m lucky enough to teach (DC next week for anyone who’s interested and Amsterdam in early February), one of the key points we cover on the Cognitive Edge Practitioner Foundations at the moment derives from James Suriowecki’s “The Wisdom of Crowds”. It’s how when using large groups of experts the average answer is better than any single answer, iff: a) every respondent is knowledgeable about the subject; and b) answers are given independently, without seeing others’ answers.

Early bird prices on Cognitive Edge course – save €600 on both Advanced and Foundations courses

Early bird prices on Cognitive Edge course – save €600 on both Advanced and Foundations courses

I’m teaching on behalf of Cognitive Edge this week in Boston – the Practitioners Foundation course that I was recommending to all and sundry years before CE asked me to start teaching it myself. It’s still a great course: “exceeded my expectations, re-kindled a lot of ideas and opened me up to possibilities … stimulating on so many levels” One of the difficulties is defining who will benefit from the course – truth is everyone will, as its underpinning is around techniques to address complex situations, ” wicked ” problems and uncertainty in organisations.

Boston Foundation course coming up

Boston Foundation course coming up

I had a blast last week in the Docklands, teaching first the Cognitive Edge Foundations course then teaching with Dave Snowden the Cognitive Edge Advanced course. … (And before any possible revamps of course materials.) 11th-12th December in Boston, MA – I’ll be teaching the Foundations course 13th-14th December – Dave’ll be teaching the Advanced course There are a few spots available on both courses, but better be quick – last week in London, the room was at capacity…