Cynefin: Non-Linear and Complexity Thinking 

Foundations Workshop 

A Decision-Making Framework for Resilience in Dynamic and Uncertain Operating Environments


Why This Course?

The ability to manage and navigate complexity is a key strategic advantage, but organizations and leaders need new tools to make sense of current situations and manage in new and rapidly shifting contexts. Approaches that worked in the past are proving inadequate in the dynamic present. The rules of the game have changed: This complex world is more like poker and less like chess.

Through a combination of instruction and facilitated activities, the Cynefin and Complexity Theory Foundations Course from AGLX and Cognitive Edge introduces attendees to the sense- and decision-making framework that is changing the way leaning-forward leaders think about organizational change. 


2020 Sessions Coming Soon! 

Location TBD




Venue TBD


Who Should Attend the Cynefin and Complexity Theory Foundations Course?  

  • Decision-makers from organizations that operate in evolving and dynamic environments

  • Board members, CXOs, and leaders interested in building resilient, innovative, and agile organizations 

  • Human resources, marketing, and HSE professionals, strategic or operational planners, product owners, and Agile coaches

  • Any individual looking for tools to make better decisions in the face of uncertainty and risk


What Will I Learn?

How the Cynefin framework and complexity fundamentals help:

  • Challenge entrenched beliefs and mitigate the impact that organizational and individual blinders have on organizational agility, safety, and resilience

  • Reduce organizational friction and bureaucratic structures to create a more networked organization

  • Identify which business frameworks and methodologies to apply based on context

  • Make sense of the nature of the operating environment through the use of a common language and multiple perspectives

  • Develop a shared mental model for how the organization should prepare and respond to dynamic contexts

As well as:

  • Why the application of an engineering approach to human systems is dangerous

  • Why extrinsic rewards undermine intrinsic motivation

  • Why efficiency is the enemy of resilience

  • Why defining a future end-state is less desirable than using vector-based goals

  • Why we do not see what we do not expect to see


What's Included? 

  • Two days of instruction with AGLX and Cognitive Edge authorized trainers

  • Access to the Cynefin and Complexity Theory Foundations online course materials

  • Catered lunches and refreshments during breaks

  • Course handouts and slides (after course completion)

Location TBD




Venue TBD



Brian "Ponch" Rivera

Brian “Ponch” Rivera is the founder of AGLX Consulting, member of the network, and co-founder of Cynefin in Defense. A former F-14 instructor and foreign area officer, Brian applies his military experience in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs), human factors, Red Teaming, and Joint Operations to reinforce the applicability of the Cynefin framework and complexity theory in both business and Defense. 

Zhen Goh

Zhen Goh is a trainer and facilitator with Cognitive Edge and holds the post of Associate Faculty at the Singapore Institute of Management, where she advises on course development and instructs in Cultural Sociology. She has applied the Cynefin framework and complexity theory to strategic planning projects in West Africa and post-conflict restructuring efforts in the Middle East and regularly speaks at conferences on the application of complexity and micro-narratives to development, policy, management, and marketing.  


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