Theory of Constraints

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Constraints in are not the same as Constraints in the Theory of Constraints (TOC). In the latter, practitioners remove constraints whereas in approaches more coherent with the principles of Naturalising sense-making and Anthro-complexity, the focus is on using constraints to shaping a bias within a system such that we might expect "more stories like this and fewer stories like that."


For a comprehensive overview of constraints which is 100% consistent with the principles of Naturalising sense-making and Anthro-complexity, see the the Constraints page on this Wiki.

Theory of Constraints

In navigating between Naturalising sense-making and work in other traditions, please consider Dave Snowden's reflections on Coherence with naturalising sense-making.

Steve Holt's Blogs from 2010

Steve wrote a series of guest blogs in 2010 where he also looked at the synergies and interaction between the CynefinTMFramework and Theory of Constraints.

The 2019 Exploratory

In 2019, Steve Holt became a thinking partner for a Cognitive Edge Exploratory around the Theory of Constraints. The Cognitive Edge resources page links to the Exploratory Recordings.

Noting the many examples and connecting the cross-references between Steve’s and Dave’s lectures, viewers will have an opportunity to consider applications and methods to improve processes, performance and ultimately results across a range of operating environments. The Cynefin lecture sessions in particular will offer those interested in innovation, weak-signal detection, and organisational change novel options for tackling challenging issues and creating lasting operational improvement impacts in their organisations. Complimenting these opportunities with the TOC methods and instruction offered by Steve Holt delivers the intended benefit of this lecture series.

Further Reading

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