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OpenStrategies, Performance Management, Viewpoint!

More thoughts on “foggy” strategy development – the Cynefin Model

My recent blog post on the linkage between “Wicked Problems” and strategy development prompted some interesting conversations.

Phil Driver (OpenStrategies) said “Eddie Obeng’s Four Types of Project seems to me to parallel one of my favourite papers about simple, complicated, complex and chaotic environments (known knowns – rules-based; unknown knowns – experts-based; unknown unknowns – emergence-based; and unknowables – just act now!).  Strategy development can occur in all 4 strategic environments (or in all 4 of Obeng’s types of projects). Problems arise when people think that a strategic environment is simple (and hence needs a strategy based on ‘rules’) when in fact the strategic environment is complex (and hence needs to be based on ‘emergence’) or complicated (and hence needs to be based on the ‘advice of experts’).  I suspect that most strategies are required in complex environments and hence an emergence model (rather than ‘rules’ or ‘experts’ model) is relevant.

Sophie Carr (Bays Consulting) sent me this link to a Slideshare presentation on the Cynefin Model which Phil referred to above.

Sophie said: “It is an awesomely cool framework – you generally start in disorder and then move into one of the quadrants.  However, “things” – life, events (of any type) can push you into any one of the other quadrants.  So you might be happy in your responsive mode, but a curve-ball might tip the business into chaos, and then what?  It is incredibly good for structuring thoughts and issues as well as developing response matrices.

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