"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009



Life evolves, not from atoms and molecules . . . but from stories. In fact, our atoms and molecules are evolving stories. Each human being is a story in utero, waiting to unfold.

A picture may be equal to a thousand words; sometimes, a word might equal a thousand pictures. But a story consists of an infinitude of words and pictures . . . with each retelling, its form and function morph into fresh dimensions of perception.


Our most meaningful relationships are enacted through stories . . .they bind and bond us to one another, and the quickest path between souls is a bridge of stories.

A story might be as short as a phrase, and as long as . . . infinity. And a story well told is infused with kinetic energy: it can facilitate rapport between people, and harmony within cultures, because our minds work via links, connections, and associations.

Stories unfold a vast vista of possibilities by enabling us to encompass multiple points of view simultaneously. Listening to stories creates a sense of expanded consciousness: where we are encouraged to reflect on our similarities, appreciate diverse perspectives, and to negotiate our differences.

One of the greatest benefits of stories is to inspire reflection: old and new, concrete and abstract, logic and imagination . . . they all come together to bring new levels of meaning into evolving contexts.

Stories are a prime medium for modeling ideas, acquiring fresh knowledge, comprehending complex emotions, and analyzing situations; and most wondrously, stories are an exquisite mechanism for managing ambiguity and paradoxes.


The best managers of people are often those who are the best managers of stories. And a story narrated with compelling finesse can dynamically link to business objectives.

Organisational EQ soars when managers are able to elicit, and become aware of, their employees’ stories, and when they themselves are adept at narrating their own stories.

Through the devices of imagination — imagery, analogies, metaphors, drama, and an array of visual and other sensory stimuli — a bond is established between personal and organizational realities.

The potential benefits include:

- Employees become energized, enthused, and eager to contribute ideas and perspectives;

- Work becomes compelling, creative, and collaborative, not a drudge masquerading as a job!

- There are fewer management silos and layers;

- Paranoia gives way to productivity;

- A culture change has inspired future-readiness via entrepreneurial behaviour;

- The organization is infused with Learning Leaders, each a Leading Learner;

Thus, in such a context, stories accelerate commerce!

Business moves rapidly, impelled by an agile organizational culture. Stories build competitively adaptive, dynamically flexible minds.

Ideas proliferate, and dance to the ebb and flow of a vigorous marketspace. In time, our experiences become our remembrances: in the form of stories, with lessons learned, knowledge built and shared, and ideas executed.


Learning is fluid, and organisational learning is best achieved via a fluid flow of communication. This is often enacted via creative conversations, most eloquently articulated via stories.

People are our greatest sources of information: Their lives glisten with meaning when organisational rupture morphs into workplace rapture.

Our lives are moving targets. In our search for meaning, we find it difficult to excavate a finite purpose in the thicket of spreadsheets, databases, and ‘administrivial’ minutia.

Stories help us see the substance and significance of issues. They facilitate understanding, inspire rapport, and stimulate action.

The largest galactic cluster is larger than the smallest known particle by a factor of the number one with about thirty-seven zeroes following it. Impossible to imagine. Yet, stories, moving from mind to mind on a caravanserai of images, are replete with possibilities that dwarf the largest of numbers.

The master unsolved problem of biology is how the hundred billion neurons of the human brain work together to create consciousness. But this gift of consciousness is where stories come from.

The nebula of pathways might include the Cretan labyrinths of cyberspace, the dark depths of one’s subconscious, the happy imagination of a child, or the chaotic anecdotal library within the brain of a frenzied executive.

Stories integrate art and science, and kindle a synthesised awareness which begins in wonder and ends with wisdom.

In one sense, stories are civilisation’s first abstract art form. Our word for imagination derives from the Greek phantasia, which itself is derived from phaos (“light”) because it is not possible to see without light. Stories draw out the light from our imaginations . . . and cast light upon our lives.

A mosaic breaks up space into sharply distinctive pieces — and yet produces a coherent image.

In such a way, stories are like great art, which can communicate before it is understood.

What is YOUR story?

[All images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

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