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The Cynefin Framework

The Cynefin framework is a sense-making tool developed by Dave Snowden in the late 1990s. It is designed to help individuals and organizations better navigate complexity and uncertainty in their decision-making processes.


The framework is based on the idea that different types of problems require different approaches to solve them. The Cynefin framework divides problems into five domains: Simple, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic, and Disorder.


The Simple domain includes problems that are well-defined and have clear cause-and-effect relationships. These problems can be solved using best practices and standard operating procedures.


The Complicated domain includes problems that are more complex and require specialized expertise to solve. These problems can be addressed by using analysis and investigation to identify solutions.


The Complex domain includes problems that are hard to define and have multiple interacting factors. These problems require a more exploratory approach to find solutions, which involves experimentation and learning from feedback.


The Chaotic domain includes problems that are unpredictable and require immediate action. These problems require leaders to act quickly to stabilize the situation and bring order to the chaos.


Finally, the Disorder domain includes problems that are unclear and cannot be categorized easily. This domain requires a sense-making approach to understand the problem before attempting to find a solution.


Overall, the Cynefin framework offers a valuable tool for individuals and organizations to better understand and navigate complex and uncertain situations. By recognizing the different domains of problems and using appropriate approaches to address them, individuals and organizations can make better decisions and achieve more successful outcomes.


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