What is the TNL Tweetchat about? Twice 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 "How does ineffective Knowledge Transfer hinder business continuity?" Who should be joining in the discussion? This is a call to all leaders, practitioners and interested individuals around Knowledge and Narrative to join us for an invigorating discussion. When should you be joining us? 17th [...]
We're often asked what the difference is between a focus groups and surveys and our approach to research. I think this cartoon by Tom Fishburne illustrates the problem with most focus groups perfectly. They are influenced by the facilitator (whether consciously or not) who is usually trying to prove a pre-existing hypothesis. Our pre-hypothesis approach aims to obtain true insight into the perceptions of staff, customers etc, by mitigating against facilitator bias, and asking indirect questions aimed at eliciting narrative with no [...]
This is one of the best examples of the use of narrative in advertising that I've seen in a long time ...
Sonja and I are in Cape Town tomorrow for the Unashamedly Ethical conference on Friday and Saturday. Since the release of the King 3 report on corporate governance earlier this month, there is increased pressure for Board's and Directors to report on and manage the ethical performace of their companies. Managing ethics? The reality is that the realm of ethics is a profoundly complex problem, a problem that escapes direct management ... added to this complexity is the problem of human nature [...]
This blog entry onOpen Forum got me thinking. Specifically this paragraph: "Find some truth tellers. The first thing every CEO must realize is that everyone is lying to him (her too). It just happens. They didn’t coin the phrase “shoot the messenger” for no reason. There are many wonderful organizations out there for CEOs that provide truth-telling services. Vistage is an international group whose tag line is something like “Have your answers questioned.” It’s pretty clear that their ideal customer is the CEO who [...]
The 2009 Cognitive Edge Accreditation kicked off in Johannesburg today. We're running the accreditation in conjunction with Cognitive Edge and Steve Bealing (CEO) is here from Singapore running the session. It's Steve's first visit to South African, and Africa for that fact. He's on a whirlwind learning curve on South African culture and traffic ... We'll be live-tweeting the event over the next few days athttp://twitter.com/narrativelab. Follow us there for course updates, thoughts and nuggets of wisdom on narrative and complexity.
People often ask why "appreciative enquiry" is not our methodology of choice, and why so many negative stories, archetypes and values surface in our processes. One of the key arguments is that humans don't tend to learn from other people's success as it is very difficult to replicate, we can however learn much from other's mistakes as it tells us what to avoid. This great post by Shawn from Anecdote about the "non-crime hotline" serves to illustrate.
We've been accepted to present, alongside some sharp thinkers, our approach to Narrative Change Management at the 29th Organisational DevelopmentWorld Congress. The Congress will take place on 20th and 21st July 2009 in Pretoria (info here). In our presentation, we'll profile how a narrative approach to change management can be applied within change programmes to improve engagement, resilience and awareness. In particular, we'll be looking at a case study of how we developed a Change Story for the Turnaround Strategy within theDepartment of Home Affairs. Hope to see you there.
In our mine safety research one of the key issues is determining the actual root causesof unsafe behavior. These are usually deeply rooted in entrenched belief systems and metaphors. This story, that I found on Bob Sutton's blog, illustrates how determining what is actually driving behaviour (in this case workplace theft), can lead to astoundingly simple (and cheap) solutions. In fact, as you'll see in the story, the more expensive solutions (installing cameras) made the situation worse ... "This 2001 study was done [...]
An area where we believe narrative in its various forms can add a lot of value is recruitment. To illustrate: In a recent engagement with a global consultancy around their internal talent management issues and processes, a key theme emerged around finding more appropriate ways to recruit the right type of person. This company (and from past experience all large consulting houses) has a strong culture of having to "fake it till you make it", new recruits typically had to fend for [...]