Monthly Archives: July 2010


Story-sense amongst different cultures

When presenting, one has to be certain you are okay with receiving questions when you tell the audience you would like the presentation to be a two-way conversation. This was the case for me today. I was speaking to the Cape Town chapter of the SA Organisational Development Network, focussing on our approach to Narrative Change Management. What should have been a 60 minute talk turned out to be a 2.5 hour discussion. A large focus of my presentation was a [...]

By |July 29th, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dave Snowden is in South Africa in August

Prof Dave Snowden's annual visit to South Africa will happen in August this year.  He will be in SA from around the 12th to the 25th of August, mostly lecturing at the University of Pretoria. He does have limited time available between lectures, so if anyone would like to book some of his time for meetings or to present a workshop, please let us know. We will be conducting a one day workshop on Complex Approaches to Impact Measurement where [...]

By |July 22nd, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

The power of African Fractals

We often laugh at the perceptions people have of Africa and her people, like the one that we still have wild animals roaming the streets of Johannesburg.  Hopefully the thousands of visitors that came to South Africa for the 2010 Soccer World Cup will dispell that myth once and for all.  Another persistant (and more worrying) perception seems to be that African culture and intelligence is inferior to those of Western nations.  Most people still think that the various Europian [...]

Ineffective Knowledge Transfer Hindering Business Continuity

The state of rampant change in our organisations limits the ability to establish efficient business continuity – Aiden Choles Our organisations are operating in the midst of concurrent change. In this case we are referring more to internal changes that are constantly occurring within organizations, changes such as new employees expanding our teams, stuff turnovers, shifts in management and also mergers between companies. These changes have become common in the business environment but yet remain a hiccup to most of [...]

Incentives – why they almost never work

In most organisations we engage with, the first thing that is considered whenever a behaviour change is required is an incentive scheme.  If we need better customer experience ratings, let's incentivise the front-line staff; if we need people to share knowledge, let's link that behaviour to their KPA's; and so on, and so on. The problem is that incentives almost never have the desired impact, in fact, often quite the opposite.  We often refer to Goodhart's Law: When a measure becomes [...]

By |July 7th, 2010|Categories: Complexity|Tags: , |0 Comments

Why BP’s engineers should take a break

One of the most enjoyable parts to many of our workshops is watching the reaction of people who fail to see a very obvious gorilla in a video clip because we told them to focus on counting basket balls being passed between two teams of players.  I'm not going to link to the video, because more and more people have already seen it and it spoils our fun! A recent post on Jonah Lehrer's Frontal Cortexexplains this phenomenon in a very [...]

The Narrative Lab presents: Wisdom Continuity “The Pain of Knowledge Transfer” #WisCont @WContinuity

What is the TNL Tweetchat about? Once a month, The Narrative Lab hosts what is called a TweetChat, a fun, engaging way to collaborate and discuss a variety of topics using Twitter. Our upcoming topic is "What impact have you seen the retirement or resignation of experienced employees have on your or other organisation's business continuity?" Who should be joining in the discussion? This is a call to all leaders, practitioners and interested individuals around Narrative and Knowledge to join [...]

By |July 1st, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments