For the Cynefin model to help you, you need to have some items to map on it. The best way to develop these items is by analyzing narrative fragments. A narrative fragment is like a mini-story of a few sentences. I thought back on the past year (2012) and tried to capture some of the key highlights and low-lights The capture was most likely skewed toward the last six months, but that's ok because I want to make sense of where I am now as a starting point for improvement. I compiled 18 mini-tales from 2012 such as:
Mornings are always stressful in our house. We're usually rushed and usually late and someone is usually upset. (a repeated experience)
I attended a Cognitive Edge training with Dave Snowden in Seattle. The content was fresh, challenging, and fun. The interaction with other participants was awesome!
Next, I extracted the relevant actions and themes from these micro narratives. In the end, I had over two dozen actions/themes (with some repeats). Examples:
After a break (you shouldn't try doing this all in one sitting by the way) I grouped actions and themes according to similarity which left me with nine groups that I labeled. Some of them sounded like this:
Pity party, table for 1
Tight rope walking
Screw it, who gives a crap
Then I took each theme and, thinking from a personal development context, wrote as many actionable parts to that theme I could quickly think of. This provided me with 27 action items such as:
Make a 'To Don't' list
Finally, I grouped the actions according to likeness and came up with eight action groups labeled like:
Scheduling the important stuff
Create a fine-tuned machine
And it is those items that got mapped on to the Cynefin, which I'll talk about next time.
Is this starting to make sense? It will, trust me. What do you think of the process so far?