Dave Snowden is one of those guys who mixes together humour, irony and some sort of self-importance. His Cynefin framework -Cunevin, for those of you who speak Welsh- is no more than a rudimentary set of rules to classify problems with the ultimate goal of choosing the correct approach to tackle them. This is indeed very useful because it allows people to approach any problem applying common sense and we all know that common sense is the least common of senses.
Personally, I like Dave Snowden’s style, he’s witty and straight-to-the-point. What really astonishes me is not his effective ‘selling’ of ‘his’ framework -in fact, I praise his ability in doing so- but the fact that so many people have bought into it. I reckon that the Cynefin framework has some degree of usefulness and, at the end of the day, this is what matters.
Now, it has taken more than one year to me to find someone who explained the Cynefin framework decently. He was the very author. Generally speaking, his explanations make sense but, interestingly, this is the root of evil. In effect, Snowden speaks of all this stuff as if it was a bread and butter issue. The reality is that it is not. As someone said, “we could spent the whole night discussing it”. Behold, I don’t care how much academical research is behind this ‘tool’. He doesn’t convince me. This is a pity, because I’d love to be convinced so what I wonder is, am I the only one?
According to Oxford Dictionaries a problem is “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome” and, it specifies, it’s “a thing that is difficult to achieve”. In contrast, a task is “a piece of work to be done or undertaken”. If we accept that ‘to be done’ implies some degree of obligatory nature, we may conclude that a difficult task is a problem. I’m not sure of whether I necessarily agree with this idea. To me, the Cynefin framework, as a tool, is no other thing than a paraphrase of the popular adage that goes “if the problem has a solution, there’s no problem; if the problem doesn’t have a solution, just take it easy and deal with it”. But put in a fancy way, that’s for sure.