Monthly Archives: November 2007


Facilitation vs Hosting

We consider ourselves to be some pretty darn good facilitators here at The Narrative Lab. The word "facilitation" is a word that is easily understood by our clients and when we use it, we believe they understand what we're saying, and when they use it, we understand what they're saying. After reading ­Chris Corriga­n's­ excellent post this morning on the difference between facilitation and hosting, I'm beginning to wonder if we're amidst the evolution of the term facilitation from a philosophical and practical point of view. One [...]

By |November 21st, 2007|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

9 Principles of Safe-Fail Probes

In a fail-safe environment, the key objective is to prevent things going wrong.  It is a system that has been structured such that it cannot fail (or that the probability of such failure is extremely low) to accomplish its assigned mission. High levels of planning and predictability accompany any such initiatives.  Indeed, some contexts demand this kind of rigour - take for example the recent serious of "could-have-been-worse" incidents in the South African civil aviation ­ arena.  Every eventuality must be covered, and when [...]

By |November 13th, 2007|Categories: Complexity|Tags: |0 Comments

A Breakfast Conversation: Leadership & Decision Making

We are proud to announce the inaugural N­arrative Lab Breakfast Conversation to be held on Fri­day 30th November. On the back of Prof. Dave Snowden's recent Harvard Business Review article on leadership and decision making, we will be hosting a breakfast conversation that will cover: • Making Sense of a Complex World A showcase of our keynote presentation on Complexity & Narrative • Decision Making in a Complex world An exclusive remote presentation by Prof. David Snowden, co-author of the front page [...]

Another take on recruitment and talent

I recently came across this management principle of Dee Hock, the founder and former CEO of the VISA credit card association: "Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience. Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, capacity is impotent; without capacity, understanding is limited; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; without knowledge, experience is blind. Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with all the [...]

By |November 8th, 2007|Categories: Talent|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Dynamic Culture Audits

Here's my argument: we need to move from methods of measuring organisation culture that are static, towards methods that allow for dynamic assessment. This argument comes out of experiences where static approaches have failed to provide relevant information during the life-cycle of a change management project. When embarking on an organisatinal intervention project, one can normally anticipate the inclusion of a "discovery" phase as the first of the project. This is where an "as-is" assessment/audit of ­the context in which [...]