Learning Resources

We hope these resources are useful in helping you put into practice the information from our articles and insights and our virtual learning series.

Observing meaning-making in people

This short exercise in observing meaning making helps you start to spot the differences in how individuals make sense of the situations around them. We suggest you do the exercise and start to notice differences in your own daily team and colleague interactions.

You can find out more about our series here or view all the webinars on Youtube.

Session 1: Sense-making with Cynefin

Applying Cynefin to my challenges

If you’ve attended our virtual learning session on Cynefin, use these worksheets to understand how to apply the Cynefin framework, map challenges against the different domains and reflect on how you might respond differently if looking through a Cynefin ‘lens’. If new to Cynefin, we suggest you view David Snowden’s video before attempting these worksheets.

Developmental capacities

As described in Karen Ellis and Richard Boston’s book Upgrade, these four capacities make up our ways of making sense of ourselves, each other and the world in which we are operating. The following is an excerpt from Upgrade.

The Cynefin framework described by David Snowden

The Cynefin Framework allows leaders to see things from new viewpoints and address real-world problems and opportunities. The framework helps executives sense which context they are in so they can make better decisions but also avoid the problems that arise when their preferred management style causes them to make mistakes. Here Dave Snowden introduces the framework, explaining its origin, evolution and function.

Making sense of complicated and complex challenges

Navigating ‘Complex’ challenges requires different capabilities from those we so often call upon to solve ‘Complicated’ issues. Developing these capabilities can be enhanced by regular practise of a series of ‘Habits’ whilst the Cynefin framework can be used to make sense of whether a situation is ‘Complicated’ or ‘Complex’. This worksheet shows example habits which can be used to develop these capabilities.

Session 2: Psychological resilience

These practices, mentioned during our session on Psychological Resilience, can be used to help you manage your physical state and include techniques for calming, detoxing from stress hormones, grounding yourself and energising yourself.

The following are a series of links to useful articles and videos to help you better understand resilience and build your own repertoire of resilience tools.

Talk by Richard Jolly on Building personal and organisational resilience

Resilience is about how you recharge not how you endure

The impact of emotional hijacks on your brain

Session 3: Complex causality

The following slides from our Complex Causality webinar, give some useful guidance for thinking about using Multiple Cause Diagrams to look at a complex problem and includes an individual reflection and journaling exercise

Session 4: Relational Resilience

The slides below are from our session on Relational Resilience and they help you think about how to have a good relational conversation, what gets in the way of this and gives a four sentence approach to having a recovery conversation.

The Qigong shaking practice

This article considers the Vagus nerve as an aid to calming oneself and turning off the ‘fight or flight’ reflex – The Vagus nerve as the key to well-being?

Session 5: Navigating Dilemmas

This is the slide deck from our session on Navigating Dilemmas. In there, is a tool for polarity management mapping, an exercise on organisational dilemma hunting and a worksheet to think about dilemmas in your leadership challenges and getting different perspectives on these.

Session 6: Social Resilience

Use this worksheet to think about your own social support networks and how supportive (or not) they may be. Before doing so, it may be helpful to view our Social Resilience webinar where Karen Ellis (about 8 minutes in) explains the different categories of: Playmates (people who make us feel joyful), Soothers (those who help us calm down, make us feel contented and secure), Eeyores (those who reduce and sap our energy levels) and finally Dementors (those who makes us frustrated and feel bad about ourselves). The Social Resilience webinar can be view here

Emotional states and anxiety can be transmitted across a social network. We are all part of many groups and being aware of this network transmission effect as we interact in these groups is important. Noticing the role we might play in dampening negative, and in amplifying positive emotion. Take time to notice the tone of a group you are part of right now, drawing on this valuable set of questions.