The lenses through which we see the world

Narrative Therapy What is in a word? A world. – Michael White Narrative therapy engages with a client’s world through the dominant stories at play in their life story. These are often problem-saturated narratives and the purpose of narrative therapy is to identify alternative narratives that allow for thicker and richer descriptions of who we are. Central to our work is the application of narrative therapy principles to re:authoring the narratives of self, teams and organisations. This work is about [...]

Press release: SIMONSAYS wins TNL PR campaigns

SIMONSAYS communications signs research and organisational development consultancy Friday, 02 November, 2012 Niche organisational development and research consultancy, The Narrative Lab (TNL), has appointed SIMONSAYS communications to handle its ongoing public relations requirements. Based in Johannesburg, TNL offers tailor made solutions that equip leaders with the tools to understand the dynamics and problems experienced by their organisations, while also arming management with techniques to educate, motivate and shift mindsets so that sustainable change can take place. Using business narrative (or [...]

Explaining away the complexity

Engaging with a complex phenomenon is quite challenging experience. It is even more challenging for leaders and managers who are required to do something about these problems. Markets, shareholders and employees look to leaders for guidance and sound decision-making in navigating complexity. It is because of this that leaders need to keep their wits about them. Being aware of the emotional and psychological responses one has to a complex problem is a critical leadership capability. One of the common responses [...]

By |February 27th, 2012|Categories: Complexity, Narrative|Tags: |0 Comments

Oscar Pistorius: a narrative plot analysis

The story of Oscar Pretorius, the star paralympian, has dominated the news headlines in South and the world since Thursday morning. I got off a plane reading a stream of tweet that he had murdered his girlfriend, mistaking her for an intruder in her house. Why has this story dominated the new headlines and social conversation space? I believe looking at the story through a narrative lens (no pun intended) explains why this story grips us. Firstly, an understanding of [...]

Reclaiming the power of personal narrative [TED Video]

Have you noticed how the role of narrative is getting more airplay nowadays? I've been keenly aware of the growing focus on the power of narrative in business and society. Here's another one of these messages, by Robert Tercek, with some very useful pointers on WHY narrative is important today, and how stories structure meaning in random experience. Hat tip to Cynthia Kurtz for this video.

By |June 7th, 2011|Categories: Narrative|0 Comments

Analysis of narrative vs. narrative analysis

We're busy with a project in the education field requiring that we dip ourselves into a lot of academic research on the topic. Suffice it to say that I've not read as many journal articles since I graduated ;) Surprisingly (or not) there's been a lot of narrative work done in the education field regarding how people learn. One of the pertinent thoughts that I've found so far is the difference between the "analysis of narrative" and "narrative analysis. They [...]

By |January 14th, 2010|Categories: Narrative|0 Comments

The problem with focus groups …

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 [...]

By |November 5th, 2009|Categories: Narrative|Tags: |0 Comments

The danger of a single story

This TEDGlobal video is one of the most poignant talks I've ever viewed. It is by Chimamanda Adichie, an African novelist, who shares some experiences of how encountering a single story of a person, people or country framed the way she viewed them. Her point is that being exposed to a single story is very dangerous, and that we've got to open ourselves up to "balanced stories" in order to really get a grasp on the world around us. If you want to [...]

By |October 20th, 2009|Categories: Narrative, Story|0 Comments

Narrative & Constellations

I noticed on Ron Donaldson's blog, The Ecology of Knowledge, that he had participated in a very interesting process - one that combined the use of traditional storytelling and constellationsto find novel solutions to intractable problems. I know a fair amount about the realms of storytelling and intractable problems, but know absolutely nothing about the use of constellations. One could do a massive google search to find out more, but for now, I'm more interested in what the network has to say about constellations? Any [...]

By |October 6th, 2009|Categories: Narrative|0 Comments