19 May, Sunday
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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Feedback essay (Katrina Cirule – Sense making in a complex and complicated world: Cynefin Framework)

Kirjoittanut: Samu Nyqvist - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

To continue my positive habit of reading through my team members’ essays and providing feedback on them, I will be reading Katrina Cirule’s essay SENSE-MAKING IN A COMPLEX AND COMPLICATED WORLD: CYNEFIN FRAMEWORK (https://esseepankki.proakatemia.fi/en/sense-making-in-a-complex-and-complicated-world-cynefin-framework/).

The topic of the essay is one that resonates very well with me. I also, as Katrina expresses in her introduction, often struggle with the process of decision-making.

Katrina begins the essay by expressing a dilemma that she has recently faced. By stating her own observations of how decision-making is not a “one size fits all” process and then providing a tool, the Cynefin Framework, to help leaders with making decisions in a context, she does a brilliant job at introducing the topic to the audience.

To inspect the topic deeper, Katrina takes the reader through a quick history of the Cynefin Framework. This is a logical way to involve the reader and make them more aware of the context.

After introducing the topic and promptly going through its history, the essay naturally progresses to explain the Cynefin Framework’s purpose: it helps leaders understand that each situation is different in its nature, which then helps them make the most-fitting decisions. The framework should not be mixed with a model, because it does not offer a solution or represent reality but offers an approach to perceive a problem. This is an important concept to understand in this context. (However, on the 4th subheading the Cynefin is called a model, which causes confusion…?)

To help the reader internalize this complex decision-making tool, multiple figures are inserted into the text. This complements the text very well and functions well in summarizing the text. It is also cosmetically pleasing. In addition to this, the subheadings make the text easy to follow and effortless, and bolding the key terms supports information exchange.

The essay goes on to break down the Cynefin Framework and inspect it from a very detailed point of view. Katrina elaborates how the framework begins with 3 systems based on cause-and-effect relationships, which are then later on divided into 4 or 5 domains (depending on the source) that offer perspective to understand behaviors and make decisions. These domains – clear, complicated, complex, chaotic, and confusion domain – are then explained to the reader in a very thorough way. This information output with the help of sources enables the reader to gain a clear understanding of this complex system.  Lastly, the text takes a more holistic approach and focuses on the practical application of the Cynefin framework, which gives indications about how the system can be taken into use at, for example, the organizational level.

In conclusion, Katrina Cirule’s essay on the Cynefin Framework provides a detailed and insightful exploration of a complex tool for decision-making. By introducing the topic through personal experiences and providing historical context, Katrina engages the reader and makes the content more accessible. The use of figures, subheadings, and bolding aids in comprehension making the essay easy to follow. The breakdown of the Cynefin Framework into its various domains is thorough and supported by sources, leading to a clear understanding of the tool. The essay concludes by offering practical applications of the framework, demonstrating its usefulness in organizational settings. The conclusion part of the essay is quite short, however. To have more substance in it, it would have been fitting for Katrina to again reflect on her own development as a leader and how she can use the Cynefin framework in her own role as the assistant coach of Proakatemia. This would’ve tied the conclusion to the introduction nicely.

Overall, Katrina’s essay is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to understand and apply the Cynefin Framework in their decision-making process.

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