Speaking of frameworks
I'm currently exploring how to relate the use of pattern languages to this evolving combination of Cynefin & TIMN frameworks. While most writing about pattern languages dwells on a catalog of patterns, I'm equally concerned with the use of a language for speaking with and of patterns. It makes a big difference to the people and situations to change how we speak of and with patterns. Different wording changes how we will selectively perceive, think about and respond to varied situations. We can even get a sense of this from the differences between a "pattern language", a "patterning language" and "using a patterning language". These are the differences between using nouns, adjectives and verbs.
These differences also relate to the four sets of practices and situations in the Cynefin framework. When we speak of any framework cell with nouns (i.e. "Tribe" of TIMN, "Chaos" or "Novel practice" of Cynefin), we have simplified the situation. We have organized some chaos and brought unknowns into the realm of knowns. We know what it is and get to the right about it. While limiting ourselves to using nouns, we create the illusion there could be a best practice to apply repeatedly in these situations. We wonder if we have enough organization, reliability, and consistency which are the familiar challenges of an institutional response. We conform to a pattern defined by the use of nouns.
This pattern has a pronounced effect on those described by this use of nouns. They feel wrongly labeled, subjected to misunderstanding, and possibly put down by power trippers being exclusively right. They even notice that the language has switched from "us/our/we" to "them/their/they" like I've done in this paragraph. The use of nouns creates upper and lower classes of insiders. This feeds the chaos on the outside which in turn creates a self-serving need for more ordering, organizing and use of nouns. Those under the thumb of this noun usage try to make nothing of it and keep it from becoming a thing. They wonder if they bring enough experimentation, novel practice and craziness to their chaotic situation which fit a pattern of tribal responses.
When we speak of any framework cell with adjectives (i.e. Tribal Response of TIMN, Chaotic situations of Cynefin), we have complicated what we're speaking about. We have differentiated between varied situations, perceived contexts and constituents. We switch from labeling to making a lens with our understanding. We realize how it's an unfolding process, evolving sequence or changing dynamic. We perceive what is happening in relation, in combination, or in keeping balanced -- beyond what it simply is. We've set ourselves up to wonder if we are being responsive, varied, diverse enough for the complicated situation handled by market responses. We conform to a pattern defined by the use of adjectives.
When we speak of any framework cell with verbs or adverbs (i.e. Responding tribally of TIMN or Practicing emergently of Cynefin), we have grasped the complexity of the living system. We relate to all the inter-relatedness that includes our ways of seeing and using language. We switch from using a lens with our understanding to representing our understanding, walking our talk or acting accordingly. Our conduct gives the same impression to others as our explanations. We are being what we say we are and congruently doing what the situation calls for us to practice. We immersed in wondering if we are sufficiently paradoxical, self referential and changing to sidestep the effects of nouns and adjectives. We demonstrate a pattern defined by our use of verbs and adverbs.
Complex adaptive or living systems are always using patterning languages. When we can catch ourselves falling for the trap of using nouns and adjectives, we open up ourselves to join into any living systems in our vicinity and through our connections. We realize the synergies from combining the TIMN and Cynefin frameworks.