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PlexusCall: Stories With a Technological Assist
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When: Friday, November 7, 2014
1-2pm ET

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Friday, November 7, 2014 1-2 PM Eastern Time

Stories With a Technological Assist
Guests: Dave Snowden, Barrett Horne, and Bruce Waltuck

MP3 File


Technology can play an important role ingathering stories, identifying patterns and finding the meaning. Dave Snowden has designed systems and software for interpreting collected narratives. Barrett Horne and Bruce Waltuck have used some of the methods Snowden developed. All three of guests have explored the ways our organizational understandings shape our experiences.

Dave Snowden is the founder and chief scientific officer of Cognitive Edge. His work is international and covers government and industry looking at complex issues relating to strategy and decision making. He has pioneered a science based approach to organisations drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory. He holds visiting Chairs at the Universities of Pretoria and Hong Kong Polytechnic University as well as a visiting fellowship at the University of Warwick. He is a senior fellow at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies at Nanyang University and the Civil Service College in Singapore. His paper with Mary Boone on Leadership was the cover article for the Harvard Business Review in November 2007 and also 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 is an editorial board member of several academic and practitioner journals in the field of knowledge management and is an Editor in Chief of E:CO. In 2006 he was Director of the EPSRC (UK) research programme on emergence and in 2007 was appointed to an NSF (US) review panel on complexity science research. He founded the Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity. His company Cognitive Edge exists to integrate academic thinking with practice in organizations. He is also the main designer of the SenseMaker® software suite, originally developed in the field of counter terrorism and now being actively deployed in both Government and Industry to handle issues of impact measurement, customer/employee insight, narrative based knowledge management, strategic foresight and risk management.

Barrett Horne is an internal consultant with the Yukon Government who has more than 30 years experience providing organizational development expertise to clients in nearly 40 countries. Residing off-grid in the Yukon bush since 2002 (where he moved from Oxford, UK), for the past five years Barrett has been deeply involved with researching, developing and implementing a variety of leadership initiatives and organizational capacity building programs within the Yukon Government. With MA degrees in Philosophy and Organizational Development, he has a particular interest in exploring how understanding organizations as complex adaptive systems impinges upon the challenges of leadership, organizational effectiveness and productivity, especially within the context of public sector organizations. Over the past year, Barrett oversaw a "State of the Organization" study, inviting every employee of the Yukon Government (YG) to share stories of their experiences working for YG. Using Cognitive-Edge SenseMaker® software, 758 stories were collected and interpreted by the story-tellers at the point of collection. The data from this study has had a significant impact within YG and is now the foundation for setting strategic learning and leadership development priorities for the Yukon Public Service.

Bruce Waltuck is an award-winning change leader, with more than 30 years of experience. Bruce worked 26 years at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), where he co-created the Department's breakthrough system for labor-management partnership and business process improvement. He later created a public-private partnership between the DOL and New Jersey's health care industry, yielding significant improvements in labor law compliance. Bruce has been a presenter to more than 20,000 people throughout the U.S., Canada, and Southeast Asia. He delivered a series of 22 lectures on labor-management collaboration in Brazil, as part of the USIA Speakers Series. Bruce's last Federal position was as Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, where he led improvements in a $3 billion annual grant-making process, and conducted large-scale national dialogues on behavioral health. He has studied, taught, and applied concepts and methods from complex systems science to the work of organizational change. He has taught complexity to doctoral students in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for the past 10 years. He has recently been developing a framework for gathering stories and narratives in organizations. He will be launching a new story-harvest initiative with his colleagues at I-OPEN, where he currently serves as a Director. Bruce is also developing a new Fractal group in Philadelphia, to teach and spread the use of Liberating Structures. Bruce holds a degree in economics from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and a Masters Degree in Complexity from the University of Western Sydney.

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