Cynefin framework

Cynefin framework (see earlier section "peak-performance etc organisation" for more details)

Cynefin framework is based on complexity theory and aims to help understand the more unpredictable and complex world. It revolves around 5 contexts:

i) simple context (known knowns) is characterized by obvious, stable and cause-and-effect relationships; the right answer is self-evident. This context requires assessment of the facts or situation, followed by categorising and responding to it

ii) complicated context (known unknowns) contains many right answers. Even though there is a clear relationship between cause and effect, it is not obvious. This situation requires sensing (the facts), analysing and responding

iii) complex context (unknown unknowns) involves the right answers not being obvious; distinctive patterns emerge that require experimentation; most businesses operating in this context need to probe first, then sense, and then respond

iv) chaotic context, by its name, implies infers that searching for the right answer is pointless; relationships between cause and effect are impossible to determine as they are shifting constantly and no manageable pattern exists, as the 9/11 events illustrate. This situation requires initial action to restore order, sense where stability is present, and then consideration of where to transform the situation from chaos to complexity

v) disorder context applies when it is unclear which of the other 4 contexts is predominant. There are multiple perspectives jostling for dominance; factional leaders are in dispute; discord reigns. This requires breaking the situation into its constituent parts and assigning each to one of the other 4 contexts; then decisions can allow an intervention in contextually appropriate ways

 

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