Yearly Archives: 2008


Being mindful

"The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice that how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds." I came across this great quote recently (although I can't remember where, so apologies for not crediting the author).  Mindfulness is a term that keeps popping up in discussions lately.  We're busy [...]

Stamping out bribery

As we've gathered stories in organisations, we've often come across stories that deal with corruption and bribery. I recently saw a communication from a large South African paper producing company with regards to gifts and hospitality. It outlines the following points:   I would like to bring to your attention that the following is applicable to any gifts and hospitality offered to our employees: 1.Only gifts and hospitality of an advertising nature of a reasonable value on which the name [...]

The value of sharing: a mini-case study

The stories behind the world's most successful bands fascinate me. They seem to be stories that are littered withserendipity where just the right mixture of great opportunities, resourceful networking and enough of the "at the right place at the right time" stuff mixes into a concoction that results in global success. Take the Dave Matthews Band (DMB)­ as an example (they're my favourite band) - the planets just seemed to align in 1991 when they met. But, as I've delved into their story [...]

Framing problems

Leon from Occam's Donkey alerted me to an article that was published in a recentScientific American on the impact that the language leaders use when referring to terrorism has on the perception of the general population.   For example, a metaphor of "law enforcement" triggers very different responses than a "war" metaphor. The article starts with the sentence "How we characterise an issue affects how we think about it".  This is perfectly illustrated by typical responses to occupational safety incidents.  Because people tend to [...]

Live blogging: Justin Cohen

Sonja and are sitting at the Sandton Southern Sun listening to Justin Cohenpresent his preso on storytelling: What's Your Story? I met Justin in myTomorrowToday days and admired his blatant confidence in front of an audience. He is now turning his speaking prowess to punting the power of stories in the public sphere. We're sitting here 'cos we're fascinated by the range of applications of story. From traditional storytelling to business narrative, we see a spectrum of applications and uses of story [...]

The Etceteras

One of our focus areas is retention, specifically a complex approach to retaining key staff.  Many organisations refer to this as "talent management".  This is a very hot topic currently, especially in light of great skills shortages here in SA and elsewhere.  Although I see the necessity for a retention strategy, but there is a part of me that believes that the whole idea of managing 'talent' creates more problems than it solves. How does one determine which individuals can [...]

Aggregators as a measure of pulse

Broadly speaking, the heart of our business is about the gathering of stories (many stories) within organisations so that decision makers can better understand their organisation or problem they are facing. In a sense, we're story-aggregators. Online content aggregators like Afrigator do a great job of funneling African generated web content into one easy-to-use place - that's a semi-official description. But what I think aggregators like Afrigator do, is to funnel stories, and fragments of stories. The challenge with dealing with this many stories [...]

The inherent complexity of dealing with human beings

I came across an excerpt from a book by Dr Kevin Leman called What your childhood memories say about you. He tells some funny stories of his own childhood, mostly to make a case that if you examine your collection of childhood memories, you'll discover themes that reveal what he calls your private logic, a term coined by psychologist Alfred Adler. We always seem to have to convince decision makers that any human system is inherently complex and unpredictable. Private logic or personal bias [...]


I was sitting on the plane back from Australia a little while back and in searching through the in-flight entertainment, a documentary caught my eye: Roger Federer, with the tagline, "Follow the Great Swiss champion from racket-throwing tennis brat to the perfectly composed world number one". With excitement, I hoped this documentary would uncover some of the reasons why Federer shifted in his temperament so significantly. Sadly, it was just another documentary - retracing the history of his winnings, with nice interviews [...]

Pulling together our network

Wow! What a (almost) year it's been! Our business has grown and we've had the privelage of working on some really exciting projects. We've also worked with, talked to, had coffee with, bumped into or wanted to work with some really interesting people in this space. We've decided that the time has now come for us to pull all these connections together so that we can explore how we can carry on in our relationship, or start working together. To [...]

By |October 16th, 2008|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |0 Comments