When introducing the Cynefin Sense-Making Framework we’ll often ask people to do a simple exercise of putting some random items into the framework according to which domain they think it falls within i.e. Simple, Complicated, Complex or Chaotic. In a recent workshop a delegate argued how the movie series Star Wars fell within the Simple domain. His argument? It is a class hero’s journey plot. There. Done and dusted. Simple. Case closed.
I wondered at this as I was gnawed by a little feeling of discomfort. I was chuffed the guy had applied a narrative filter to analysing the movie, but I was disturbed a little by how the plot had been reduced to nothing more than a classic Hero’s Journey. This left very little room for alternative views and perspectives, much like that Nassim Talib argues in The Black Swan. His argument is that our ability to narrate experiences limits the options available when analysing an experience.
This little experience reminded me in a bizarre way of Eddie Izzard’s off-the-cuff skit on Star Wars. Here it is, played out to Lego:
PS: Excuse some of the choice words … it is Izzard after all 🙂