David Snowden

Humans do not make rational, logical decisions based on information input, instead they pattern match with either their own experience, or collective experience expressed as stories. It isn’t even a best fit pattern match, but a first fit pattern match. The human brain is also subject to habituation, things that we do frequently create habitual patterns which both enable rapid decision making, but also entrain … [ Read more ]

David J. Snowden and Mary E. Boone

Unfortunately, most leadership “recipes” arise from examples of good crisis management. This is a mistake, and not only because chaotic situations are mercifully rare…Indeed, a specific danger for leaders following a crisis is that some of them become less successful when the context shifts because they are not able to switch styles to match it.

Moreover, leaders who are highly successful in chaotic contexts can develop … [ Read more ]

The Landscape of Management: Creating the Context for Understanding Social Complexity

This paper seeks to establish a model in which complexity can be positioned in the context of other management disciplines, in such a way as to effectively communicate to executives in industry and their equivalents in government the importance of applying complexity thinking. It also seeks to differentiate what is termed ‘social complexity’ from ‘mathematical complexity’ in the context of the development of management science. … [ Read more ]