Eric D. Brown, D.Sc.

Data Science | Entrepreneurship | ..and sometimes Photography

Tag: Storytelling (page 2 of 2)

Links for Feb 14 2010

I don’t normally do this, but I wanted to do a little self-promotion with this first link:

Eric D. Brown’s Engineering Approach by Ron Egatz on The Induro Blog (an overview of me as photographer)

Ok…back to sharing other’s great work:

Little, inexpensive things mean a lot by Mark Riffey  on Business is Personal

Want to Learn? Learn to Teach by Suze on SuzeMuze

Are You Customer-Averse? by Valeria Maltoni on Conversation Agent

Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy by Derek Sivers

The Real Lesson of Toyota: Cultural Insensitivity? by Charles H. Green on Trust Matters blog

Better User Experience With Storytelling, Part 2 by Francisco Inchauste on Smashing Magazine (see Part 1 also)

Top 3 Business Benefits of (internal) Enterprise 2.0 by Scott Gavin

The brand, the package, the story and the worldview by Seth Godin on Seth’s Blog

Discipline * Skill = Craftsmanship by Jurgen Appelo on NOOP.NL: Managing Software Development

Why Ideas Are Core to Enterprise 2.0 by Hutch Carpenter on I’m Not Actually a Geek

The Power of the Audience by Anil Dash

Leaders Make Connections by Michael McKinney on Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog @ LeadershipNow

Beware the dark side of the IT PMO by Linda Tucci on TotalCIO

Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard by Pierre DeBois on Small Business Trends

John Madden’s Lessons for Leadership

U.S. Senator Susan Collins, who co-chairs the ...
Image via Wikipedia

John Baldoni had a great article on HarvardBusiness.org titled “Five Things John Madden Teaches Us about Leadership.”

Apparently John Madden has announced his retirement…I’ve been so busy with work and school to not know this.  Baldoni took Madden’s announcement as a chance to look at what leadership lessons can be learned from Madden….and I was impressed.

The lessons are:

  • Commit to what you do
  • Innovate as you go
  • Tell Stories
  • Love what you do
  • Know when to say when

Now…I’m going to make you jump over to the article to get Baldoni’s take on these lessons but I will provide my own commentary here too.

I don’t think anyone would argue with these points.  Leaders need to be committed towhat they do, love what they do, innovate and know when to throw in the towel.  But what about the third one (tell stories)?  Do many leaders do that?

I think they should.

Think about John Madden’s commentary during football games (American football that is).  He never sat there and just called the plays as they happened…he provided insight into what was happening and share stories from his many years of experience.

He used stories to educate people watching the games and he made people smarter by doing so.  This is what leaders need to do to.

Don’t just tell people that the organization is changing…tell them why its changing. Tell a story that highlights the reasons for the change.  Provide examples and a narrative to help people take the information in and internalize it.

In addition to football jargon, let’s learn something else from John Madden. Describe where you want to go and draw it out for your team….you may be surprised that people will be on-board with your vision if they understand it more clearly.

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Using Stories to share knowledge

As part of a research project for my doctorate work I’ve been looking at the use of storytelling for knowledge sharing in project teams.  I’ve found the topic extremely interesting and perhaps even something I can find a dissertation topic out of.

While looking through my RSS Reader last week I ran across Glenn Whitfield‘s post titled ‘When thinking isn’t an option – tell a story‘ and felt a sense of deja vu….Glenn was talking about the very subject I’ve been researching.

The last two paragraphs of Glenn’s post are:

So how do you get your point across when people don’t want to think?

Just tell a story. For thousands of years, human beings have learned many life lessons from stories or fables (remember Aesop’s Fables). So why not use them to get your point across? In just a few paragraphs, you can tell someone about a problem (the issue), provide a plausible explanation (impact of the issue), and teach a lesson (the solution to the issue). Nice and neat, and everyone is satisfied. By using the facts and information you have and molding it into a story that the audience can relate to, you will have their attention, and you can make your point effectively. Yes, you will have to really think about how to put your facts into a story your audience can relate to, but remember, you want to make sure that your issue is clearly understood.

As much as we may want to get people to think more, when it’s clear your audience is not up for it, telling a story is a very effective way to get your point across and get what you want. Remember, we all like a good story.

Great introduction in the use of stories to get your point across.

Stories have been used to pass down wisdom and knowledge from the beginning of time.   Every culture has had its own stories and storytelling techniques so it makes sense that using stories to transfer and share knowledge within project teams might prove worth researching.  I’m currently researching this topic and will be working a paper that I hope to get published later this year.

In the meantime, If you’re interested in learning more about storytelling applications in knowledge management, take a look / listen to the  presentation I put together for one of my courses on the topic of storytelling and knowledge management.  You can view the PDF here or watch/listen to the quicktime presentation here. You can download the Quicktime video (in Zip format) here.

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