The Cynefin Lego Game: Recognizing the Complexity Domain of your Problem!

We expect leadership teams to find innovative solutions to business challenges, and yet rarely give any consideration to how to solve these challenges. Current thinking is leading us to understand that different types of problems lie in different complexity domains, and require different ways of solving them. And the mix of solution types is shifting, meaning our traditional approaches to problem solving are not always suited to the new problems we encounter.

The Cynefin framework, introduced by Dave Snowdon, provides a simple model to understand the types of problems and how to solve them. Using Cynefin and complexity thinking can accelerate organizational learning by recognizing the problem domain for a particular situation and knowing what class of solution is appropriate. Recognizing the complexity of a problem is a behavior that will enhance learning, and failing to recognize it may restrict learning within the community.

As managers and leaders, we need to understand what types of problems we encounter, and which tools and approaches are best in each case. Using a series of Lego exercises, participants will experience each problem domain, from simple to complicated to complex to chaotic, and emerge different approaches to problem solving in each domain. Some will work, some won't. You will experience the importance of choosing the right approach for each problem domain, and what happens when we use the wrong approach to solve a problem.

Expect to understand what type of system you are dealing with by recognizing when practices stop working, and learn to decode what is happening in terms of organizational structures and communication in that specific system.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Session outline as follows:

The session uses accelerated learning techniques, and is highly interactive, based on the 4C’s approach described in Sharon Bowman’s Training from the Back of the Room.

Connection Activity

  • Participants will be provided a thought-provoking question related to problems they are facing and discuss in pairs or groups. They will map each problem based on one of 4 criteria's. This map will be referred back to after the Cynefin Framework is explained and the lego exercises during the debrief towards the end of the session. (in essence they are being introduced to the Framework without knowing it at this point)

Concepts

  • Cynefin Framework is explained and its history.

Concrete Practice

  • Using Lego, particpants go through four exercises where the problem to solve and the context is designed to create a simple, complicated, complex and chaotic system.
  • Debrief on learnings after each exercise.

Conclusion

  • The exercise during the Connection activity will be revisited.
  • Q & A

Learning Outcome

  • You will be able explain the Cynefin Framework.
  • You demonsrate how you can deal with situations in the different domains by adapting your coaching and communication style.
  • You will understand what type of system you are dealing with by recognizing when practices stop working.
  • You will learn to decode what is happening in terms of organizational structures and communication in a specific system.

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, Executives, Managers, Scrum Teams or anyone looking to foster higher level of agility within their organisation.

Prerequisites for Attendees

None

schedule Submitted 7 months ago