Last week Monday through Wednesday we hosted the 2009 Cognitive Edge Accreditation course in Sunninghil. Steve Bealing, CEO ofCognitive Edge came over from Singapore to present the session. It was his first time in South Africa, and he was probably exhausted after a visit to the De Wildt Cheetah breeding project, watching the Conferation Cup semi-final at Ellis Park and rounding off his visit with a weekend in the African bush.
The course was a resounding success, with an eclectic mix of attendees from a variety of organisations. These included financial institutions, a not-for-profit foundation focusing on improving education, representatives from SANParks and one or two independent consultants. We love observing the interactions between such a diverse group of people as they engage with the Cynefin framework and other Cognitive Edge techniques. For this course, we chose the global financial crisis as the topic for sense-making. It was interesting to note the similarities as well as the differences in how the various groups perceive this crisis. It’s also one of the first populated frameworks that had so many items in the chaotic domain.
On day 2 we covered the narrative elements of Cognitive Edge and this session generated a lot of energy from the group. It once again confirmed that narrative comes naturally for South Africans. We focused on leadership and gathered stories of leadership behaviour in an anecdote circle. We also showed the group how archetypes emerge from the characters in the stories, and our resident cartoonist, Rob Hooper, graciously agreed to come and draw one for us (see the picture of “The Smooth Operator” to the left). We ended off day 2 with participants working on real-world problems and designing actual projects.
Day 3 was all about Sensemaker, with participants getting to grips with this powerful tool.
We live-tweeted the event over the three days athttp://twitter.com/narrativelab.