Dave Snowden

  • Director & Founder
  • The Cynefin Centre

Prof. Dave Snowden is Director of the Cynefin Centre and CSO of the Cynefin Co. His international work covers government and industry, looking at complex strategic, organisational, and decision-making issues. He has pioneered a science-based approach to drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory. He is a popular and passionate keynote speaker on various subjects and is well known for his pragmatic cynicism and iconoclastic style.

He is a visiting Professor at the University of Hull and has previously held similar posts at the University of Bangor, Hong Kong PolyU, Warwick, Pretoria and Stellenbosch. He held the position of senior fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at Nanyang University and the Civil Service College in Singapore during a sabbatical period in Nanyang. He is the creator of the Cynefin Framework, and his paper with Boone on Leadership was the cover article for the Harvard Business Review in November 2007. He also won the Academy of Management award for the best practitioner paper in the same year. He has previously won a special award from the Academy for originality in his work on knowledge management. He is an editorial board member of several academic and practitioner journals in knowledge management and an Editor-in-chief of E:CO. In 2006, he was Director of the EPSRC (UK) research programme on emergence and, in 2007, was appointed to an NSF (US) review panel on complexity science research.

He previously worked for IBM, where he was a Director of the IKM and founded the Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity; during that period, he was selected by IBM as one of six on-demand thinkers for a worldwide advertising campaign. Before that, he worked in various strategic and management roles in the software service sector. He was one of the three founding members of the DSDM consortium, one of the feeds into the Agile Manifesto, along with XP and Scrum.

Sessions