David Snowden’s Cynefin Framework breaks ordered systems into two domains.
Best Practice is a phrase often used, but it is only applicable in the simple domain of ordered systems.
Here proven methods work, such as ISO 9001. There is focus on process adherence and SOPs
We apply procedure and keep things simple. Cause and Effect is obvious. We tend to focus on resource optimization.
The Cynefin Framework suggests we Sense - Categorize - Respond.
Traditional leadership behaviors can work here. Some call this Command & Control leadership though it seems to be based on a mis-perception of military leadership to me. Leaders focus on behavior and context to get performance.
The Cynefin Framework suggests Good Practice in this domain. Here we apply skills and adaptive processes. We use expert judgment, systems thinking and Continuous Improvement.
Cause & Effect requires analysis in this domain.
The Cynefin Framework suggests Sense - Analyze - Respond.
Leaders should pull together groups of experts to participate. Leaders focus on competencies and behavior.
The Cynefin Framework breaks ordered systems into two domains.
In the complex domain we need to use emergent practice. This is a different process model than we might be used to using. In the complex domain, we look for patterns. We run multiple small experiments to see what works. Patience is often needed for patterns to emerge.
Such multi-experimentation helps us detect patterns. Better than best practices here are the use of guidelines or heuristics. Simple rules let complexity emerge. For example, the army heuristic is "Move toward the sound of the guns."
Because Cause & Effect can only be perceived in hindsight we don’t look for it in the moment.
In this domain we can focus on Flow Optimization. We can ensure our Process Library is enabling and adaptive.
Business Process Innovation is required in the complex domain.
The Cynefin Framework suggests Probe - Sense - Respond.
To probe, we can use iterative, fast cycles of testing ideas.
We can ask a question, form a hypothesis (expected results/observations) and test to discover what happens (actual results/observations).
When we’re done with experiments or data collection, then we have to interpret the data. Does the data oppose the hypothesis? Does the data support the hypothesis? Does it inspire revised assumptions?
In the complex domain, deterministic forms of prediction fail.
Leaders need to coach and focus on values and competencies. With large, open group discussion, we can get inputs from others.
We can benefit from experimental management approaches. We can increase communication and interaction.
Managers can actively support change initiatives and prioritize sustainable change. Leaders need to create other leaders.
In this domain, we optimize for the whole system and remove impediments. Much like Agile. We also need to enable insights to action quickly enough to matter.
Chaotic Domain (Random)
This is a bad domain to be in. Here only New Practices may work.
Leaders focus on stability-focused interventions and crisis management.
Cause & Effect not perceivable in this domain. We have to innovate to get out of this domain.
The leadership style best suited is charismatic leadership. Focus on Vision, Mission, Ambition. In crisis management, the leader makes quick decisions without time to reflect.
Focus on what really works, rather than looking for answers. The Cynefin Framework suggests Act - Sense - Respond.