Monthly Archives: June 2009


Storytelling workshops

If you're interested in the more traditional application of storytelling, our good friend Peter Christie will be running a series of workshops on how you can harness your own storytelling ability. The two workshops are entitled: The North, South, East and West of Storytelling in Organisations (11th to 14th October) AND Life Storytelling in Organisations (14th to 17th October). They'll be run in the Maluti Mountains in the Free State. Contact Peter at if you're interested.

2009 Accreditation kicks off

The 2009 Cognitive Edge Accreditation kicked off in Johannesburg today. We're running the accreditation in conjunction with Cognitive Edge and Steve Bealing (CEO) is here from Singapore running the session. It's Steve's first visit to South African, and Africa for that fact. He's on a whirlwind learning curve on South African culture and traffic ... We'll be live-tweeting the event over the next few days at Follow us there for course updates, thoughts and nuggets of wisdom on narrative and complexity.  

The non-crime hotline

People often ask why "appreciative enquiry" is not our methodology of choice, and why so many negative stories, archetypes and values surface in our processes.  One of the key arguments is that humans don't tend to learn from other people's success as it is very difficult to replicate, we can however learn much from other's mistakes as it tells us what to avoid. This great post by Shawn from Anecdote about the "non-crime hotline" serves to illustrate.

By |June 12th, 2009|Categories: Narrative|Tags: , , |0 Comments

J.J. Abrams: The mystery box

I really enjoyed this TED talk by J.J. Abrams. Key points that stood out for me: Sometimes mystery is more important than knowledge Mystery is the catalyst for imagination Mystery offers Infinite possibility A blank page is a mystery box Stories are mystery boxes The difference between what you think you're getting vs what you're really getting is often profound The mystery box IS all of us - what is really inside of you?

By |June 11th, 2009|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |0 Comments

Using wisdom of crowds to find Air France 447 black box

It strikes me that the search for Air France 447, and the current search for it's black boxes, has been approached in a very routine way. The French nuclear submarine will be scouring 35 square kilometers a day in search of the black boxes. Is there not an easier way to estimate where they are, or retrospectively, in identifying the possible crash site? So, for example, why not try out James Surowiecki's "Wisdom of Crowds" approach to estimate the location? After all, [...]

By |June 10th, 2009|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

“I’ll go down, I’m not scared to die …”

Give me a chance to go down today, I'll do it!  I'm desperate to get out of this poverty. I'm not scared to die or get arrested because even the police are involved in this. I don't blame zama-zamas; in fact I'm encouraged by their initiative." These are the words of a 18 year old jobless hostel resident in Welkom, South Africa.  These words are especially disturbing after  a week where at least 76 illegal miners (zama-zama's or chance-takers) have died [...]

By |June 5th, 2009|Categories: Complexity|Tags: , |0 Comments