Saturday, May 1, 2010

ACPE 2010: Complexity Science with Dave Snowden

I'm in Washington D.C. attending the 2010 ACPE (American College of Physician Executives) Annual CME Conference. This morning, Dave Snowden led an interesting session and a workshop on the topic of "complexity science." This session was a part of the Physician Leadership Summit. What did he talk about?
A leader’s framework for decision-making, complexity is poised to help current and future leaders address the challenges and opportunities they face.
Let's take a look at a snippet from his 2007 HBR (Harvard Business Review) article titled, "A Leader's Framework for Decision Making." You can read this article on by clicking here.
Complexity is more a way of thinking about the world than a new way of working with mathematical models. Over a century ago, Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of scientific management, revolutionized leadership. Today, advances in complexity science, combined with knowledge from the cognitive sciences, are transforming the field once again. Complexity is poised to help current and future leaders make sense of advanced technology, globalization, intricate markets, cultural change, and much more. In short, the science of complexity can help all of us address the challenges and opportunities we face in a new epoch of human history.
He spoke about Complex systems are highly sensitive to small changes, interaction is key, hindsight does not lead to foresight. If we consider the characteristics of complex systems, we also need to consider the consequences of using complex systems and make sure we: 1) use distributed cognition; 2) work with finely granulated objects; 3) disintermediation.

Then he spoke of the Cynefin framework, which includes 4 domains: complex; complicated; chaotic; and simple. Within each domain, you'll want to apply the appropriate approach based on the type of domain.

We spent the morning in breakout sessions and discussed case scenarios at each of our tables. It was fascinating to break down each component of a problem into one of the 4 domains. We went through a few other case exercises in small groups and evaluated action plans for the complicated and complex domains. Discussions were focused within each table, but then ideas were shared with people in other tables.

You can learn more about Dave Snowden by visiting Cognitive Edge where Dave is the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer.

Click here for highlights from ACPE 2010.

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1 comment:

  1. This is a very good article to begin with. Thank you for sharing this one.