Cynefin Framework Notes

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Complexity and the Cynefin Framework

From Wikipedia on Cynefin

"The Cynefin(pronounced /ˈkʌnɨvɪn/) framework is a model used to describe problems, situations and systems. The model provides a taxonomy that guides what sort of explanations and/or solutions may apply. It was developed by David Snowden and his collaborators. Cynefin is a Welsh word, which is commonly translated into English as 'habitat' or 'place', although this fails to convey its full meaning."


Lilia Efimova and Nancy White


Lots of people (did not capture)

See who was there: photo by Peter J. Bury

Key Discussion Points

We didn't have that much time for the session, so we started from introducing complex systems, the Cynefin framework, safe-fail probes as an approach to deal with complex domains, and then did an exercise, mapping the issues that come from the evaluation of KM4Dev workshop to the framework.

Additional Resources

Cognitive Edge

If you want to dive deeper into what have been discussed you might want to check:

If you are thinking about using the Cynefin framework in a group process it might be useful to start from reading descriptions of two methods - Butterfly Stamping and Cynefin contextualisation: Four tables. The last one also provides a list of forms that help to think of actions to address items in four domains: