Field guide to managing complexity (and chaos) in times of crisis

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Managing complexity (and chaos) in times of crisis A field guide for decision makers inspired by the Cynefin framework

This publication is a shared effort between the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, and the Cynefin Centre. It aims to provide sense-making support to the European policymaking process. The output expressed does not imply a policy position of the European Commission.

Publication by end of January so the tasks and opportunities below are short term

Description of book

This field guide helps to navigate crises using the Cynefin framework as a compass.

It proposes a four-stage approach through which we can:

  • assess the type of crisis and initiate a response;
  • adapt to the new pace and start building sensing networks to inform decisions;
  • repurpose existing structures and working methods to generate radical innovation;
  • transcend the crisis, formalise lessons learnt and increase resilience.

The field guide stresses the importance of setting and managing boundaries, building informal structures, keeping options open, distributing engagement and keeping an ongoing assessment of the evolving landscape.

Action items, real life examples and demonstrations complement the references to the developing theoretical framework.

Category: 2.2.1 Books

Bibliographic Information

Snowden, D. and Rancati, A., Managing complexity (and chaos) in times of crisis. A field guide for decision makers inspired by the Cynefin framework, Smith, B., Snowden, E., Winthagen, V., Andriani, P. and Caspari, A. editor(s), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2020, JRC123629

Offer - free training for assistance getting the wiki populated

For a limited time small groups of 2/3 editors will receive free training in and of the assemblies and methods listed below (severally or in part) in return for completing the documentation in the Wiki and off Wiki artefacts to an agreed level.

Each item below is expected to need one team. Those who complete this will also be identified as competent to use same in their work.

Training will be in the form of one to one virtual presentations and discussions. This offer is also open to an organisation, including internal consultancy teams, willing to document and do to additionally create case material that will be in the public domain. Those interested should complete this online form.

Training is now being scheduled for week commencing 15th February and will run intensively. Sessions will run early morning and early evening UK time and will be slotted around the time zones of those employed.

Prior to each training blog posts links and slide sets will be issued and the sessions will be recorded - that should make things easier.

Key requirements

All methods and assemblies referenced in the field book to be documented in the wiki, associated training and other programmes for government and industry developed and available with a body of practitioners able to execute.

Method documentation and workflow builds

  1. Knowledge mapping includes Decision mapping and the QQE Matrix with associated workflow, forms and other supporting documents maybe done with one time or several
  2. Constraint mapping and visualisation including control forms for constraint variation together with monitoring systems may include writhing a concept piece
  3. Triopticon which will include the need for graphic visualisation and animation
  4. Crews formation and training process together with role definition and operational procedures - crisis and non-crisis
  5. Document and create process for the aporetic turn including methods for creating aporia as well as safe to fail probes including linked control document and process

Slots requiring base knowledge of SenseMaker®

  1. Documentation and process for creating human sensor networks in the public (will require SenseMaker® knowledge)
  2. Documentation and process for creating human sensor networks in an organisation (will require SenseMaker® knowledge)
  3. Document MassSense process for distributed situational assessment and scenario planning, some funds are available to create a basic workflow package around existing SenseMaker® capability (open APIs) and this opportunity may includes sweat equity options
  4. Exaptive generation of novelty - this requires SenseMaker® knowledge and also has sweat equity options for the development of automated workflow

Training and adoption support material

Awaiting definition