intro’d to Dave via Maha’s share here:
“Ppl r trying to engineer solutions rather than evolve solutions even tho problems are not mechanical but organic”
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/Bali_Maha/status/677358440306577408
Dave’s talk from 2012
Combining Complexity Theory with Narrative Research
micro narratives.. overlayed on top of other data..
all about starting to break assumptions.. sci advances ..always.. mavericks… heretics… we don’t see things that we don’t expect to see… where we get unknown unknown
goal of mine last 20 yrs.. develop methods/tools that make people aware of things that they would otherwise find too easy to ignore… science behind that is key
adaptation – trait develops for a specific function
exaptation – generic trait gets used for something else unexpectedly by surprise
history of evolution mainly exaptive.. when something moves sideways…
creativity is s symptom of innovation… not a cause
apple brllliant at exaption: take things that were invented for something else and move them sideways into other areas.. medicine as well….
so how do we manage for exaption… not be able to survive stress … if we just try to adapt to what we know is going to happen.. we have to create pre conditions where exaption can happen naturally and quickly.. which means intro’ing inefficiency into the system..
when a measure becomes a target it ceases to be a measure.. 0 atrathern variation
10 min – outcome based – nobody can do anything unless they say in advance what success can be..
graeber min//max ness
if you focus on extrinsic… you destroy intrinsic
ways to measure success… w/o defining in advance what that success should be
a system is any network that has coherence.. an agency is anything that acts w/in system
14 min – stories are fractal.. home naran rather than homo sapien..
3 types of system: order (now outcomes); chaos (random – where you get wisdom of crow); complex/adaptive (co-evolve, patterns from co-evolution.. can’t be reversed)
17 min – don’t like the teen age ref..
for last 40-50 yrs we’ve been trying to create one approach.. but need diff management depending on which system you are in
20 min – rigid boundaries have a habit of becoming brittle
key phrase of entire talk: manage the emergence of beneficial coherence w/in attractors w/in boundaries… focus on managing what can be managed.. … we manage for emergence
23 min – real problem: engineer rather than evolve solutions.. and we’re dealing with an organic system rather than a mechanical
the place of your multiple belongings..
25 min – human beings don’t know what they know until they need to know it.. deeper expertise less likely they are to respond to consultants asking questions with real knowledge
only by multiple experiments.. can i understand.. evidence supports multiply hypothesis.. and there isn’t the right answer..
27 min – only upset.. those who wanted money to study for 3 yrs to come up w/solution.. we got it by engaging w/system.. found solutions that weren’t expected.. could only be discovered w/interaction w/it
most systems are complex.. and most of our means to solve is order
28 min – not causal but dispositional.. no foreseeable repeating relationships between cause and effect.. key
29 min – mapping counter terrorism… hallows in land..
holes in chips..
highly sensitive to small changes
hind sight doesn’t give you fore sight… in complex system
confusing simulation with prediction.. confusing causation with correlation
35 min – human complex system.. a new field of study.. because we have intentionality.. we do things that aren’t logical.. altruism ness
37 min – rather than send ethnographers… we distributed ethnography into citizens themselves… refugee camps… find person most respected.. captured that story.. over 80 000 stories.. real time fast feed back loops.. showed terrorism is going from uk to pakistan and not the other way around…
sensemaker… not just telling stories.. need meaning.. and if you bound people from telling story about failure.. learning decreases.
not algorithmic interp of text.. it community needs to wake up to: no deep structures in language.. no grammaging.. (chomsky’s theory disproved 20 yrs ago) ..on analyzing meaning of text – human language can change in seconds.. who holds the power of interpretation…
43 min – indexing most important.. but only get it if you’re telling the story..
self-talk as data ness
49 min – large mass human observation… stories secondary.. gives higher objectivity
52 min – micro feedback
53 min – think anew. act anew.
1:02 – on the power of numbers and stories combined.. you can persuade people with the combo
1:05 – if you can find stories of people like you.. you’re more likely to change..
2013 – Lean, Agile & Scrum Conference – Making Sense of Complexity
role to be constructive irritant.. if you hear something w/familiar language you may associate it with something it isn’t… picking up language and applying to same thinking of last several years…
how to make sense of world… so we can act in it.. 2 key concepts.. either extreme is bad..need both acting and thinking..
fine to use recipe book – if have all conditions in place.. if not.. you nee the chef… who would do it with hands w/o thinking… serving time is key for whole body of human knowledge.. also understands theory of taste… combo of theory and practice.. consciousness is a distributive function
6 min –
1\ exaptation (step change) – taking something designed for one purpose and using it for something else.. far more successful strategy for innovation than adaptation (slow change)…
so create exaptive moments.. ways in which software interacts w/human beings creating novel/unexpected uses…for existing capabilities..
architecture needs to be designed for flexibility
stop thinking about thinking about software as a manufacturing process. that’s linear.. it’s a service based provision.. evolutionary.. w/adaptive capacities…
9 min – taking a linear process and drawing it as a circle or doing it faster.. doesn’t make it non-linear. non-linearity requires parallelism and a completely different approach..
x-d glasses ness
2\ coherence – halfway house between we know it’s true.. and it’s anybody’s guess… (ie: spider web.. see pattern but no longer coherent)
what isn’t coherent… a whole new concept of proof..
if i have coherence i experiment.. i prototype… if not coherent.. neither
evolutionary theory is coherent (we know it’s not right), creation ism goes beyond any reasonable limits.. not coherent..
once pattern is formed.. can’t go backwards.. wherever you are is wherever you are.. doesn’t matter how rational/logical.. whatever you say will be filtered through last experience
12 min –
3\ complexity – usually presented as binary.. either order or chaos.. reality a 3rd.. complex daptive.. neither chaotic or ordered.. key thing.. you have to absorb it you can’t eliminate it .. complexity has to be accepted.. have to live w/the flow.. it’s about managing turbulence..
most human systems fit here.
system: any network with coherence…
meaning exists in the gaps between people not in the people themselves… – Alicia Juarrero
Alicia – one of best thinkers in this field…
13 min – politics shift between: atomism (society is assemblies of individual interests) and commutariansim (individ’s only have meaning because of membership in society) – from a cog sci pov commutarianism is winning.. relationships between more important than things themselves…
trying to change every person too hard.. if change systems w/in work.. interaction inbetween.. much faster
or both.. no?
2 needs. as the day.
big new thing… managing networks.. gaps between …
2\ agent: agents in human systems are rarely individuals.. can tell naivety if start to talk about agents as people. reality agents in systems are groups of people, myths, common stories.. myths have higher agency than individuals..
17 min – no diff between us.. the diff is the stories we grew up in.. stories are fractal.. you can’t escape the weaving pattern of the stories of the groups of which you are in..
18 min – we’re narrative based creatures and we like to conform..
we.. or what we’ve seen us being..?
1\ order: if anyone says anything about human being is complex.. they don’t understand subject… we can put process in place to impose order.. uniquely humans have learned how to create it.. but involves high levels of constraint.. if too high.. things go underground.. the more b an org got the denser the networks became.. because had to know someone in order to make anything happen… networks were survival mechanism…. in this system.. people are disguising failure.. tension builds up.. massive change..
2\ chaotic: open.. context of randomness… no constraints.. every agent independent.. huge value.. wisdom of crowds ness..
to create a system where no one interacts w/anyone else.. is very difficult..
to say – i can manage chaos – shows stupidity – or intelligence w/deception involved…..difficult..have to keep things separate.. but if you can.. it’s useful
the goes into markets… et al..
so maybe simpler if we get rid of irrelevant s..
3\ complex adaptive.. where constraints and agents are co evolving… can’t go backwards.. always dealing w/current..
ontology…fundamental nature of things: order, nature, chaos
epistemology .. way we know things.. way we act..
revolutionary concept.. in all management to date..
? revolutionary if still talking in management..?
29 min – what we manage is the emergence of beneficial coherence with inner tractors w/in boundaries..
takes far less resources than ordered approaches .. producing more beneficial outcomes.. but not outcomes you can know in advance..
complexity theory is not a subset of systems thinking…. ie: define an ideal end state and engineer to it… ie: define ideal person.. agile community needs to work with whatever comes in…
complexity focuses on identifying present… focus on things you can change.. and where there can you monitor.. because if you can’t monitor you won’t change… so then on what you can monitor what would leave beneficial
32 min – roundabout – never jams… has boundaries but allows emergent behavior… driver can choose based on traffic flow… also slowdown and pay attention
creating systems where people slow down and pay attention is critical..
we need to stop designing applications and design architectures with objects in which applications emerge.. architecting to allow for emergence.. like roundabout
36 min – small things produce radically different effects.. you don’t get repeatability .. dispositional not causal…
hindsight doesn’t lead to foresight… ie: after it’s happened everyone can see what should have been done.. but we keep getting wrong… because system keeps changing..
lessons learning rather than lessons learned..
proximity is key.. one of the things you manage..
almost impossible for human being to lie backwards with consistency..
41 min- i can simulate but not predict..
converging to quickly on a solution.. dangerous
scaffolding provides support while being built.. but not needed for sustenance after built..
43 min – back of napkin ness. simplicity or not useful
so why hour long lectures..? and not changed yet..? serious. for (blank)’s sake…
44 min – big mistake.. saying 1 solution
chaos is a transitionary state.. if you’re in it you take action..
disorder is a state of not knowing which system you’re in
46 min – buy or search on web.. i’ll leave it to your conscious as what you choose.
then talking about papers winning awards.. and needing pedigree if you want people to buy in
47 min – loosen constraint for new ideas.. tighten to exploit
49 min – hold a meeting/open space mentality… open space is the enemy of innovation because it enforces consensus… need to increase conflict.. or don’t get diversity or proper testing… law of 2 feet enemy of innovation allows people to avoid confrontation where they need to do confrontation.
52 min – transparency enemy of innovation… because no one takes risks.. manager needs secrecy over spending or won’t take risks..
great ideas.. muffled by assumption of market ness..?
53 min – most project start at group think… as soon as enough are in.. you go… users don’t know what they want.. you don’t rep of users.. you want narrative of users while in it..
55 min – working multiple parallel experiments.. and micro narrative…
so.. a people experiment…
56 min – method on deciding experiments:
if agreed it’s coherent get to experiment.. not required to agree it’s right…. need to know what will do if fail.. needs to be short term.. tangible..
obliquity – solve problems by solving related problems…
some need to be naive… bring in someone w/deep knowledge.. but naive about the problem.. to look at is sideways..
need contradiction… run 3-7 experiments..
so he’s telling all these forms .. you can download from his site.. not back of napkin.. no?
1:01 – real time feedback again..
self talk as data again
1:06 – never eliminate outliers…
realize dealing w/humans not machines… human brain not like a computer.. no singularity..
watch out for those putting new language on same old things…
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge
Unlike many big data tools it puts humans at the front and humans at the back. Technology augmenting human intelligence.. These networks have the potential to replace traditional research tools, polling and focus groups. .. (on persuasion) It also enables action. “Instead of asking, “How do we create a culture of X?” we ask “How do we create more stories like this and fewer stories like that?” Then as actions are initiated we see the impact in real time.
David John Snowden (born 1 April 1954) is a Welsh academic, consultant and researcher in the field ofknowledge management. He is the founder and chief scientific officer of Cognitive Edge, a consulting company and research network focusing on complexity theory in sensemaking.
Snowden is an Honorary Professor in the School of Psychology at Bangor University and holds an MBA fromMiddlesex University, and a BA in Philosophy from Lancaster University. He started his working career with Data Sciences Ltd (formerly Thorn EMI software), acquired by IBM in 1996. He was the Director of IBM’s Institute for Knowledge Management, and the founder of the Cynefin Center for Organizational Complexity. Snowden developed the Cynefin framework, a practical application of complexity theory to management science.
2\ Complex systems that include human beings are different. Unlike atmospheres and nitrogen cycles, people can forecast, strategize and adapt hyper-rapidly to our environment. Dave Snowden calls this anthro-complexity. We have to innovate an entirely new approach to governance that is adequate to the challenging set of problems posed by anthro-complexity. **We really don’t know how to do this.
link to what’s in a name:
I now talk about the 3Is of human complex systems: intelligence, identity and intention. Part of that is to make the point that human systems are different, and that *symbolic language is a critical aspect off that difference which links back into the narrative and other work that is so much a part of what we do.
or is it limiting us.. are we ready to let go of that linear ness..? i think yes
So what to call it? Well over the years I have used two names: social complexity and more recently cognitive complexity. ..Social complexity now has more specific meaning in academic circles and I don’t want to be confined by that. Cognitive complexity has the human aspect in it, but again it is a little limiting. I’ve also used naturalising sense-making and still do. ..More recently I have been thinking about anthro-complexity (or anthrocomplexity) as being the most accurate label, and possibly the least confining.
But for the overall field or approach there needs to be a name, and the name itself will impart meaning.
thinking more.. let go to idio jargon
garden of eden – the transition – complex dynamics – july 2017
jordan – from dave snowden 10 yrs ago (1\ simple 2\ complicated 3\ complex 4\ chaos)
..simple enough for kid to get
becoming experts and managing complicated systems.. that no single person could.. frames what we do.. what we are good at doingcomplicated vs complex.. complicated: although phase space very large it doesn’t change.. in complex system.. things do change.. all the stuff we really care about are complex..and a big part of the game we’ve been playing last 15000 yrs.. has been trying to use complicated stuff to manage complex stuff.. impossible..in a complex system.. things that are causation.. are almost impossible to figure out.. can’t make prediction with precisionone of big problems.. when you have a complicated system.. trying to manage the complex system.. as the complex system changes.. the complicated system has to become more complicated..
till it becomes so complicated you can’t manage it.. till it does something dave snowden calls: takes a journey thru chaos..
and chaos is the 4th kind of system.. and we don’t like chaos.. but how it works.. have to break down and go thru chaos to come back into authentic complexity
perhaps our job right now is twofold:1\ figure out how to position ourselves so that we can in fact endure the chaos.. possibly even be antifragile to the chaos and use the chaos to build something very positive..
2\ do what we can now to envision what a future looks like that embraces complexity authentically..
daniel: more complicated blueprints are not going to get us there.. our motivational tool kit has to change.. as long as homeless ness is ok.. and killing is ok.. is it fair to call that civilization yet.. maybe not aspired to it yet.. maybe birth of civilization is what is on the other side if we navigate towards that..
via Tim fb share
Complexity, citizen engagement in a Post-Social Media time | David Snowden | TEDxUniversityofNicosia- feb 2017
we’ve compounded order w outcome based assessment.. if look at history of last 40-50 years.. everything has to have a target.. a defined outcomes.. and it has to be a number.. the reality is.. all of the scientific evidence.. says that when human beings are pursuing explicit targets it destroys intrinsic motivation..t..
there is no evidence to contradict that.. and where do we most need intrinsic motivation.. in health and in education and where do we impose the worst targets.. in health and education.. so we need to start to think differently about this.. and we need to move away from this primitive dichotomy in which we contrast one highly structured system w an absolutely chaotic system into something more sophisticated..
2 min – there is actually a third type of system which exists in nature.. its a complex adaptive system.. a system defined not by its structure but by its connectivity
in a complex system everything is connected w everything else.. but many of the connections cannot be known.. ie: the internet; humanity; .. understanding these and understanding how we manage them is critical.. and it’s not about control.. it’s about understanding the connections about changing the linkages
3 min – if we assume a system is chaotic (children acting w/o constraints behavior is random.. at party).. drugs/alcohol.. personal discovery.. house burn down
4 min – order systems approach.. taught in all business/management schools.. critically important to agree learning targets for the party in advance of the party itself.. project plan for party where can measure progress.. adult start party w lecture.. if at any point.. children not happy.. hire happiness training consultant who will train them to be very very happy
6 min – complex systems approach.. much simpler.. draw line in sand.. look children squarely in the eye and say.. cross that and you die.. on the need for flexible boundaries
7 min – stop trying to treat an ecological problem as if a mechanical problem..
so.. finding new ways to deal with this.. because have to understand what’s going on.. you can only understand a complex system by *understanding the small particular parts of day to day interaction
for humans.. those are the anecdotal data of the school gate.. the street story.. the beer after work.. they’re not the grand narratives of workshops.. it’s the day to day anecdotes of people’s existence..
and we need to understand them thru the voice of the people that tell them.. not thru an ai machine interpreting the text or an expert making them fit their cultural expectations.. people’s own voice has to be subject to their one interpretation
8 min – in order to do that we have to engage people.. and people have had enough of surveys.. enough of focus groups.. we used to trust experts and now we’re trying demagogs for a change.. the reality is we actually hand over a lot of cognitive processes to structures.. it’s not based on ourselves as individuals.. t.. so in order to do that we have to engage people..
yes.. via the above.. ie: the anecdotal data of the school gate.. the street story.. the beer after work
9 min – ie: s wales .. girls rugby club as agent of change in some of rural communities.. we give them tools to capture their experiences..t.. and the experiences that people try to recruit..
in schools.. give tools to children to go into communities and gather stories on those communities.. they become ethnographers.. rather than rely on outside experts..
we have the means for 7 bn people to tell their own story .. ie: daily curiosity.. and to facil that.. because.. as nice as it sounds.. (and granted it’s way better than what we’re doing now).. having children in school is still outside experts
the goal is to allow people to become ethnographers to their own condition.. quantitative rather than qualitative.. over last 30-40 yrs seen many attempts at digital story telling .. but nobody thinks about how to scale it..t.. and nobody allows people to tell what their story really means.. because that’s done by the people who gather it..
10 min – in order to get there we have to empower people.. and power comes from the power to interpret your narrative.. not from the power to actually hand your narrative over to *somebody else..
*even sweet.. young.. local girls..
in order to do that we have to find a way to scale.. several key elements:
1\ need to work w abstraction.. art comes before language in human evolution.. the ability to abstract allows for scientific invention.. in fact.. the overemphasis on stem education around the world.. will destroy scientific creativity.. w/o art there is no invention.. if move up level of abstraction.. avoid gaming
2\ need to increase cognitive load.. because we need to use the popular language to have people thinking slow not thinking fast..t.. we need reflection.. not the immediate response you get on questionnaires
how about really slow..deep.. daily reflection.. by allowing/facil ing.. perhaps idio-jargon.. as popular language
12 min – quant backed up by qual
if you focus on information.. you radically reduce human knowledge.. it’s far more than what we can write down..t
then of course.. have to find a way to enact what comes out of that.. find a way to make real change.. a whole new theory of change..
14 min – two sets of data.. on left.. people are giving up and doing what they need to to survive.. on right.. people have to break rules to treat patients empathetically..
how do we change that..? a traditional change mech.. and this is the engineering culture.. would define a desire future state and try and close the gap.. that’s bad complexity science.. in complexity what matters is we describe the present and we make small changes in the present to nudge the system in the right direction
but i don’t mean the conventional approach of behavioral econ.. nudge econ.. that’s more yanking than nudging.. it decides where it wants people to be and tries to tug them toward it..
what we want to work at is where people are and see when it’s ready to change..
or not change .. right..? or.. notice that it’s always changing.. listen to and facil that
in this case what i look for in complexity is called an adjacent possible.. a cluster of stories/narratives.. near to where i am but going in the right direction..
15 min – this is called a vector measure.. i don’t measure outcomes .. i measure vectors.. direction and speed of travel for intensity of effort..
shortening lag between intension and action
what can i do w/in the compass of my power to create more stories like this and fewer stories like that
a story about people grokking about what matters
16 min – we need to start doing small things in the present rather than massive things in future.. because that just leads to perpetual disappointment
that is called fractum engagement.. (fractal.. sustainable).. where new key concepts of citizen engagement worldwide.. starting to pair people… trans generational..
fractal thinking et al
18 min – multiple mass fractal engagement to achieve genuine sustainable change in society.. based on scientific approach not an engineering approach.. based on managing a complex ecosystem rather than trying to maintain a machine..