Monthly Archives: February 2008


Event: Dave Snowden at GIBS

n conjunction with the Gordon Institute of Business Science, The Narrative Lab will be hosting Dave Snowden at a GIBS Forum next week. Dave will be talking about a leaders framework for decision making - a topic he wrote about in his November 2007 HBR cover article. Date: Tuesday, 4 March 2008 Time: 17:30 for 18:00. Cocktails to follow from 19:30. Venue: GIBS Auditorium, 25 Fricker Road, Illovo Fee: R160 (Forum Members) R225 (Non Forum Members) Please click here to register. Seating is limited. [...]

By |February 26th, 2008|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

Business Science killed the Narrative Star

There's a constant challenge we face when working with narrative material in business - that at some deep level, employees feel a resistance to telling anecdotes and stories in the organisational setting. Sometimes the resistance is direct, "We don't get paid to tell stories!". Somewhere in our history as people who have sold our souls to business, we have lost track of our natural ability to a) tell a story, and b) recognise when we are in fact relating a [...]

Upcoming Cognitive Edge accreditation training with Prof Dave Snowden

From 3 - 5 March 2008, The Narrative Lab will once again be hostingProf Dave Snowden, world-renowned thought-leader in the areas of complexity and narrative, when we will be co-presenting a Cognitive Edge accreditation training course in Pretoria.  Prof Snowden is also known for co-authoring the cover article (a leader's framework for decision making) in the November 2007 edition of the Harvard Business Review. In South Africa (as in most other countries) resources are becoming more scarce, and it is becoming a business and government imperative [...]

By |February 18th, 2008|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Safety stories

I picked up on this post by Boudewijn Bertsch on the Cognitive Edge guest blog. It is an excellent narrative acount of how stories can be used to address safety issues in organisations. In many organisations, safety has become an administrative issue - when an incident occurs, a standard process is followed, and once all the boxes have been checked, it is filed away. Often, no attempt is made to make sense of what happened, or learn from the incident. While this continues [...]

The Smoker’s Balcony

I'm not sure precisely what make this organizational phenomenon work, but I have a fairly good guess. I am talking about the Smoker's Balcony. Notice how I have even capitalized the phrase - this is not simply part of the building designated for those who use nicotine products. It is far more than that. The thing I find interesting about this particular place, is not the noise, or the fresh(!) air, or the heat, or the chance to get away [...]

Culture in Stories

I heard today of a large South African corporate that underwent a transformation. At a certain point in its history a new top-dog was appointed, and he decided, as the top-dogs are wont to do, to bark and bite most of the existing senior leaders out. This "old guard", also being well known in the organization as great tellers of stories (and in some cases, tall ones, but not the matter), duly left, tails between their legs. Not long after, [...]

By |February 11th, 2008|Categories: Culture, Narrative|Tags: , , |0 Comments