Gurteen Knowledge Conference

Managing Organizational Compexity

The Third Gurteen Knowledge Conference (GKC3)




Annabelle Mark , Bruce Cronin , Dave燬nowden, David燝urteen, Leslie燡ohnson, Martyn燣aycock


Organizational Complexity; Storytelling


United燢ingdom, London

Other Events

This Conference is over.
If you are interested in it you may download the conference materials

A one-day conference presented by Gurteen Knowledge and Bizmedia

3rd March, 2004, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK

The 3rd Gurteen Knowledge Conference looks at Managing Organizational Complexity with Dave Snowden.

Dave Snowden
"We've had a hundred years of management science and management consultancy based on Newtonian physics and Taylorist principles. A lot of good things like process reengineering and quality management happened by applying machine metaphors to the firm. The trouble is that when you move on to trying to manage areas such as knowledge, learning and strategy you are moving into a completely different frame - a system which is inherently complex. At that point you have to completely rethink management methods." -- Dave Snowden

Dave goes on to complement this introduction to organizational complexity by telling a little story in his usual colorful way:
"There are two ways of managing a party of 12 year old children. One is to clearly articulate a vision statement, create a proper project plan with milestones and clearly identifiable performance criteria, linked to reward mechanisms. In this approach we start the party with a motivational Powerpoint presentation and complete it with an after action review. Lets call this Method A.

On the other hand Method B involves drawing a line in the sand and saying "cross that you little so and so's and you die (creating a boundary) and then throwing in a football or a video game (attractors) to see if beneficial pattern formation can be stimulated. The good patterns are then reinforced and the bad ones disrupted.

Method A is OK for ordered, predictable systems, but shows a very poor cost benefit model for unordered, complex systems. This new way of thinking transcends the ordered concepts of supply and demand and starts to look at co-evolutionary models. It also offers the prospect of greatly improving services in both public and private sector using less rather than more resource."
This day with Dave Snowden will be highly interactive and participatory. Dave will set the scene for the day by introducing the topic which will then be followed by three presentations from members of the Cynefin Network, each followed by workshops. The day will take a look at the following:
  • How we draw the boundaries between "order" and "unorder", i.e. the applicability of method A and method B
  • The managing of unordered systems (i.e. Method B) - the management of boundaries, attractors and identities to create sustainable learning ecologies that are in Dave's opinion the next major development after learning organization
  • The role of narrative in understanding underlying the rules and principles of behavior - and creating a language through which we can talk about that behavior.
  • Integrating with existing practice - why process re-engineering and the learning organization are both good things "within boundaries"

Who should attend?

The Gurteen Knowledge Conference is designed for:

• CKO/Knowledge Managers • KM Project Managers • Information Managers • Research Managers • Innovation leaders • Heads of Strategic Management • IT Directors/Managers • Management consultants • HR/training professionals • Business development/marketing professionals

Conference Programme Schedule

08:30 - 09:15 Registration, coffee and networking
09:15 - 09:30 Welcome and Introduction to the Day, David Gurteen
09:30 - 11:00 An Introduction to Organizational Complexity, Dave Snowden
Director of the IBM Cynefin Centre for Organizational Complexity
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee and networking
11:30 - 12:45 Tools and Techniques for Managing Complexity, Martyn Laycock & Dr. Bruce Cronin
12:45 - 14:00 Lunch, networking
14:00 - 15:30 Schemata, Organizational Complexity and Leadership, Professor Leslie Johnson
Director of the University of Greenwich Business School
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee and networking
16:00 - 17:15 Demanding Complex Health Care, Professor Annabelle Mark
Professor of Health Care Organization, Middlesex University Business School
17:15 Close, followed by networking in bar


Attending the Gurteen Knowledge Conference costs just 325 + VAT and includes:

  • Entry to conference and sponsor displays
  • 3 course networking lunch
  • Morning and afternoon refreshments
To register online - please click the button below. You can pay by credit card or request an invoice.


Call the Novotel London West  on +44 (0)208 741 1555 and ask for Group Reservations.

Please note that all accommodation bookings must be made directly with Group Reservations at the Novotel London West  stating that you are attending the Gurteen Knowledge Conference. This will ensure you receive the special delegate accommodation rate.

Video: BLU Lesson 2: We trade our knowledge by David Gurteen

One of six BLU lessons on 'trading knowledge' by David Gurteen.

In April 2005, BLU, the UK's Business Link University which no longer exists hired Fifty Lessons  to produce a series of video stories for them to which I (David Gurteen) was invited to contribute. This is one of those stories.

Media Information: Image

request help
visitor book
Tuesday 18 June 2024
11:09 AM GDT