Thursday, 19 August 2010

Cynefin, Knowledge Spirals and Bonfires

A recent post by Thomas Vander Wal reminded me I needed to share some of the thinking I've been doing over the last few months. In On Fire with Social Progressions Thomas describes the social flows of information from idea through to formal outcome. In this post he uses a neat analogy of a growing fire to describe this progression. It all starts with an individual creating a spark, an idea, that grows into a campfire as a group gather round and add their perspectives. This campfire builds into a bonfire as more and more contribute to the original idea and finally becomes a beacon (Thomas uses torch holder), a formal full rounded piece of information that people can navigate by. This is a great visual analogy and reminded me of an aspect of the Cynefin framework and the description of 'The natural flow of knowledge' in Complex acts of knowing: Paradox and descriptive self-awareness by Dave Snowden. The beauty of the Cynefin framework is the simple way it breaks down and describes knowledge space which can best be describe by Dave Snowden:

In "Complex acts of knowing" Dave illustrates how ideas start in the the complex domain and around these communities naturally form which through the process of formalisation grow into communities of practice within the knowable domain. Knowledge is aggregated and ideas built upon as members of the community ask new questions of the chaotic domain, gain new insights in the complicated domain and test and analyse them in the knowable domain. At some point a limited amount of codified knowledge can be separated out from the community and moved into the known domain.
I think you can easily see the similarities between Thomas's "fire" analogy and the knowledge spiral aspect of the Cynefin framework. Now while Thomas's "fire" analogy describes the social flows of information from idea through to formal outcome the Cynefin framework takes this idea much further and provides a way to explore the wider concept of knowledge space. Having introduced the idea of the knowledge spiral and how it applies to the Cynefin framework the next step will be to explore the requirements of the domains and how enterprise 2.0 tools align to them.
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Wednesday, 4 August 2010

As Jessica says "Advertise yourself"

The last quarter has been a very rewarding time for the team who developed OnePoint, the innovative combination of OneNote and SharePoint, as we picked up three awards for this work. These were the Royal Society of Chemistry Teamwork in Innovation Award 2010, Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award 2010 and KMUK 2010 Best KM initiative or implementation in a corporate enterprise. As a consequence of this external validation the internal interest in this solution has step up another notch. Further more we have just heard that the executive leadership team on the board are about to adopt OnePoint. Not bad, we have gone from the research bench in Sandwich to the boradroom in New York!