"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."

Friday, April 3, 2009


Much of the knowledge that exists within working groups comes from an exchange of executive war stories. The frequent storytelling about problems and solutions, disasters and triumphs, exchanged over meals and refreshments, serves a number of overlapping purposes.

Stories are good at:

* presenting things sequentially (this happened, then that).

* presenting things causally (this happened because of that).

Thus, this medium of communication is a powerful way to understand events (their sequence, and the causes and effects stemming from those events). Storytelling is particularly useful for executives for whom "what" and "why" are critical but often difficult to discern.

Storytelling is encoded in our DNA. Economists narrate via their models, scientists via their experiments, executives in their business plans. Such forms of ‘dialogue’ help us discover something new about the world. It also enables us to transfer that discovery on to others.

And critically, it helps the people around the corporate campfire develop a common outlook, by evoking a shared framework for interpretation that allows executives to collaborate even though formal processes assume they are working independently.

Experimentation and improvisation are essential, too, of course, but stories about such experiences will amplify the benefits to tellers as well as to listeners.

How do stories enable an organisation (or a society) to move ahead from strength to strength?


Some Examples:

* Storytelling invests our lives with more meaning
* It connects us more empathetically with others
* It stimulates and nurtures our creativity
* It enlivens and enhances our sense of humour
* It infuses us with courage and confidence
* It renders our lives more memorable

Converting Parables to Profit:


* help us create a flesh, blood, and soul environment
* help us learn from the past
* are effective at raising hidden issues
* can be successful at transferring knowledge
* help to build trust, and to command attention
* humanise the teller, the listener, and the prevailing situation (where relevant)

[To be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from the 'Catalysing Creativity' edition of The Braindancer Series of book azines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

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