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The Cynefin Mini-Book

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This mini-book is based around the Cynefin framework, a contexutalisation and sense-making framework developed by Dave Snowden. The resource provides an overview of the Cynefin framework and use of narrative research, guidance and a tool for developing shared sense-making, and tools and guidance for developing a portfolio of experiments for different types of problems, distinguishing between complicated and complex problems.
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Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

Greg Brougham

Discipline or practice

Strategic Design

Systems Change

About this resource


United Kingdom

Date Published



Copyrighted-All rights reserved


PDF publication

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One review for "The Cynefin Mini-Book"

  1. I used this for a workshop including collaborators on a consumer financial protection project and it enabled everyone to see the problems clearly. I played with some of the language of the cynefin framework (Obvious, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic, Unknown) because people were having trouble with the difference between complicated and complex and while most situations are rarely truly chaotic, many participants like to think that they exist in chaos in their daily jobs. Also, sometimes in government the obvious work is also quite difficult, or at least time consuming to tackle (i.e. developing standards) and some participants seemed not to want to minimize their own work by calling it “obvious.” Instead, I used straightforward (obvious), puzzle (complicated), mess (complex), and all bets are off (chaotic). The framework designer would probably not like these modifications, but I found that it made the framework much more approachable.

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