On Cognitive Edge (2)

I have finished tidying up my notes from the Cognitive Edge accreditation course I did in Sydney last week. There was plenty to go through but I feel the notes only just scratched the surface! Dave Snowden certainly covered a lot of territory!

I have listed some key knowledge fragments from the course that I particularly liked:

  • correlation is not causality
  • a complex system is always different from its parts
  • retrospective coherence gives us the benefit of hindsight but not the benefit of future-telling
  • with complexity, one can replicate starting conditions but not outcomes
  • using safe-fail in the complex domain, “go forward, probe and experiment”, because we don’t know the answer
  • amplify “good” weak signals
  • we use “ritual” to trigger identity (and we each have multiple identities)
  • archetypes are collective representations, not caricatures
  • metaphors are good for human understanding
  • humans use pattern recognition intelligence; we are not an information processing machine
  • any time a measure becomes a target it is no longer a measure
  • and my favourite line, “cynics are people who care”, since they are the ones looking for a better way to improve their organisations (hear, hear!).

There was much more from the course, and plenty to reflect upon. I will do some more reading, thinking and writing. For now, I am chasing up some of the author references in my notes (Sutcliffe, Thom, Kaufmann, and Klein, among others).


One response to “On Cognitive Edge (2)

  1. Well done on tidying up the notes Brad, I have sat down to do so a couple of times since and failed to make headway. (maybe next weekend…)

    In terms of follow up reading I’ve just purchased Terry Pratchett’s “The colour of magic” and “The light fantastic.”

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