A new friend of mine, Elizabeth is doing a PHd on ‘computer mediated communications’ using ‘co-operative action research’ methods. So yesterday I met up with her in Newcastle to run a workshop with a selection of 24 academics ranging from Professors, researchers, professionals and other PHd students.
Using Cognitive Edge techniques I first split the attendees into groups of eight divided by subject interest to maximise the differences between groups. The three groups were primarily Information/Records Mgt, Buildings and Psychology.
Each group completed a Future backwards as described in previous blogs and told their story to the other groups.
Finally I swiftly introduced them to the cynefin framework with its domains of Simple : Complicated : Complex : Chaos (and I was scarily asked, thankfully at the end, to explain the central domain of Disorder).
I then invited everyone to come up with one thing that we all could do in relation to organisational/business communication that would maximise our chances of achieving our shared HEAVENs and avoiding our shared HELLs and to place this in the appropriate cynefin domain.
As a facilitator strictly mainaining separation from the subject matter I found the whole session absolutely fascinating: especially:
- how differently the groups self organised themselves
- the variance of quantities of hexagons produced
- one groups obsession with technical products
- how elaborate the stories became from single hexagons
- the positioning of final actions on the cynefin and their interpretation of ‘simple’ and ‘complex’.
Anyway, Elizabeth got some really rich material to add to her research, the attendees experientially learnt some new techniques and I got got exposure to the academic side of the North-East where I would love to do more. So you could say a symbiotic time was had by all.