A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge  
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Achieving Success in the Emerging e-Knowledge Industry
© SCUP 2003
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Mobilizing Leaders, Policy Makers, and Practitioners (continued)


Chapter 7

Achieving Success in the Emerging e-Knowledge Industry

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The Seven Highest Value Forms of Organizational Storytelling
  If your
objective is:
  You need
a story that:
  Your story
will need to:
  You will also need to take these actions:   Your story will use or inspire these phrases:   When successful, your story will have the following impact:
1 To communicate a complex idea and spark action   - is true
- has single protagonist who is proto-typical of your audience
  - focus on the positive outcome
- be told in a minimalist fashion
  - frame the story so that the audience is listening
- provide “guide-rails” that help direct the listener towards the hoped-for insight
  “Just think . . . ”
”Just imagine . . . ”
“What if . . . ”
  your audience will “get” the idea and be stimulated to launch into action
2 To get people working together in a group or community   - is moving
- is interesting to the listeners
- is a story about a subject that the listeners also have stories
  - be told with the context   - establish an open agenda
- engender a process of story swapping
- have an action plan ready
  “That reminds me . . . ”   your audience will be ready to be working together more collaboratively
3 To share information and knowledge   - includes a problem, the setting, the solution, and the explanation
- captures the granularity of the relevant area of knowledge
  - reflect multiple perspectives
- be focused on the difficulties and how they were dealt with
  - verify that the story
is in fact true
- cross-check with other experiences
  ”We’d better watch that in future!”   your audience will understand how to do something and why
4 To tame the grapevine and neutralize negative gossip   - reveals humor or incongruity either in the bad news, or in the author of the bad news, or in the storyteller
- is true
  - be amusing or satirical
- be a blend of truth and caring for the object of the humor
  - make sure that the bad news is indeed untrue
- commit yourself to telling the truth, however difficult
  “You got to be kidding!”
“That’s funny!”
“I’d never thought about it like that before!”
  your audience will realize that the gossip or the bad news is either untrue or unreasonable
5 To communicate who you are   - reveals some strength or vulnerability in your past
- is true
- is moving
  - be told with context   - make sure the audience has the time and the interest to hear your story   “I didn’t know that about you!”
“How interesting?”
  your audience will have a better understanding of who you are as a person
6 To transmit values   - exemplifies your values in action
- is relevant to the “here and now”
- is moving
- is believed
  - provide context
- be consistent with
the actions of the leadership
  - make sure your actions are consistent with your story
- make sure the context of your story fits the listeners
  “That’s so right!”
“We should really do that all the time!”
  your audience will understand how things are done around here
7 To lead people into the future   - is about the future
- captures the basic idea of where you are heading
- focuses on a positive outcome
  - be told with as little detail as needed to understand the idea
- be evocative
- resonate with the listeners
  - provide context from past and present
- make sure that people are ready to follow (if not, use type #1 story, i.e. a story to spark action)
  “When do we start?”
“Let’s do it!”
  your audience will understand where they are heading for

*Excerpt from a forthcoming book by Stephen Denning, entitled The Squirrel: The Seven Highest Value Forms of Organizational Storytelling, of which advance chapters are available at www.stevedenning.com/squirrel.htm

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