What is complexity? II

607px-cynefin_framework_feb_2011One concept I like when I’m thinking of complexity is the Cynefin framework developed by Dave Snowden (see the picture on the right).

The beauty of the framework is that it helps you to categorize problems in simple, complicated, complex and chaotic. Furthermore, it gives you a strategy for each of these domains how to design your problem solution. For example for complicated problems the strategy would be ‘sense – analyze – respond’, meaning that first you have to sense the problem, analyze the system (or call in experts who know the system) and respond based on the analysis. Continue reading

What does ‘systemic’ actually mean?

“We need more systemic approaches!” This claim has gained some traction in the development world. Everybody is talking about how to make development approaches more ‘systemic’. A quick internet research reveals quite a number of results related to development organizations: USAIDUSAIDCGAPGIZ,  GIZGIZ, and SDC. Continue reading

What is Complexity?

Our work in economic development is generally taking place in complex systems. But what, exactly, does complexity mean? In their award winning article titled “A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making“, published in the Harvard Business Review in November 2007, David Snowden and Mary Boone feature a box in which they describe the main characteristics of complex systems. I found this to be a very comprehensive and yet understandable description an that’s why I want to share it here. Continue reading