Social Enterprise Resource Bank

A place for nonprofit staff and social entrepreneurs to find resources to help them build innovative and sustainable health and social services ministries.

A Helpful Framework for Solving Complex Community Problems

Social Enterprise Resource Bank - April 16, 2019


In 2007, Harvard Business Review published an article entitled A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making written by David J. Snowden and Mary E. Boone. In it, they write:

"We believe the time has come to broaden the traditional approach to leadership and decision making and form a new perspective based on complexity science.... Working with other contributors, we developed the Cynefin framework, which allows executives to see things from new viewpoints, assimilate complex concepts, and address real-world problems and opportunities....Cynefin, pronounced ku-nev-in, is a Welsh word that signifies the multiple factors in our environment and our experience that influence us in ways we can never understand…. Using this approach, leaders learn to define the framework with examples from their own organization’s history and scenarios of its possible future. This enhances communication and helps executives rapidly understand the context in which they are operating."

The Cynefin framework is a useful tool that helps organizational leaders understand better how to approach complex community issues.

Learn more about the Cynefin framework and how it might give perspective to your ministry and organization:

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