Episode 38: Dave Snowden

About Dave Snowden

Dave Snowden


Dave Snowden is CSO & Founder of Cognitive Edge and Director of the Cynefin Centre. He has pioneered a science based approach to organisations drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory. He is a popular and passionate keynote speaker on a range of subjects, and is well known for his pragmatic cynicism and iconoclastic style.

He holds positions as extra-ordinary Professor at the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch as well as visiting Professor at the University of Hull in the Centre for Systems Studies. He has held similar positions at several other Universities. He held the position of senior fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at Nanyang University and the Civil Service College in Singapore during a sabbatical period. His paper with Boone on Leadership was the cover article for the Harvard Business Review in November 2007 and won the Academy of Management aware for the best practitioner paper in the same year. He has previously won a special award from the Academy for originality in his work on knowledge management. He previously worked for IBM where he was a Director of the Institution for Knowledge Management; during that period he was selected by IBM as one of six on-demand thinkers for a world wide advertising campaign. Prior to that he worked in a range of strategic and management roles in the service sector. He started in Industry, following a period overseas in Charity work, designing and building Decision Support Systems in the early days of computing.

Über diese Episode

In this episode, Mik is joined by Dave Snowden, CSO & Founder of Cognitive Edge and Director of the Cynefin Center.

In this episode, Mik and Dave talk about the development of Cynefin, a framework for decision-making, and other key topics including:

  • The Cynefin framework and some of the existing methodologies and techniques that have been developed
  • Examples of things that have gone in the wrong direction as a result of not understanding some of the first principles
  • The best practices for technology leaders to identify and thrive through chaotic events or chaotic environments
  • Guidance on how to take aspects of each framework and put them together in different combinations
  • Advice on how to approach the Cynefin framework at various levels of leadership

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