Liz Keogh

Pattern Hunter

Recorded at Domain-Driven Design 2016, January 26-29, Brussels

Cognitive Cynefin: How Language and Bias Keep Us Complicated

For millenia, human beings have survived by learning, then applying our learning to different contexts. We’re so good at it that we’re driven to find those patterns, even when they don’t exist. Our desire for the predictable suffuses everything we do; our beliefs, our behaviour and even our identity. From cognitive bias to the metaphors that underlie our language, we create constructs of words and imagination that keep us from innovating… and yet, they’re the same constructs that help us move forward in uncertainty. Without them, we’d be unable to make decisions at all! In this talk we look at how our language and perceptions can hold us back, and how changing the things we say and the way we look at the world might help us become more resilient, happy and innovative.


Liz Keogh is an independent Lean and Agile consultant based in London. She is a well-known blogger and international speaker and a core member of the BDD community. She likes to spot patterns in unusual places, and has a love of language, people and their potential, and creating choices. She is currently interested in modelling risk and change with complexity thinking and the Cynefin framework.