Tuesday, March 19, 2013


i'm a turn around guy, been doing it for years; i work through story for four reasons.
A) They are sticky, a good story teller takes you with them and makes you part of the story; they are remembered long after numbers or theory have faded, and we've been telling stories for longer than we can remember, as a way of learning/teaching.
B) The story of a companies identity is the key, people attach themselves to this and it becomes a shared story. If its broke, as in my work, nothing will happen until its fixed. Remember a system is the sum of its relationships to the power of the trust in those relationships, story is the explicit form of relationships, and the relationship with identity is fundamental to any complex humans systems DNA or culture if you prefer.
c)If you recognise various systemic contexts (see cynefin.org) you will see that in complex space, story can be used both as a diagnostic - narrative analysis - and as an intervention tool in various forms; indeed it is one of the tools suited to the emergent methods required under complex conditions.
d) By definition then story is a non linear form which is impossible to quantify, however if you use one of the large story capture systems, Sense maker for example, it allows you to quantify the degree of relevance and occurrence of the archetypes of a system, and in real time story analysis this can give good non linear feed back to track both diagnosis and interventions.
Finally story tracking enables you to find out what is going on without asking questions, see the observer paradox in quantum mechanics, because if a system is in a predominantly complex state, small things like questions, can have bigger unintended consequences and be unintentional interventions in themselves, with all the consequences.

So you see you need to come at story through a new perspective, and ask people to tell you stories about how they use story, because your linear analytical approach (i.e. looking for the answer) may end up with you listening to your own voice, and not whats really going on.
Your size and sector analysis is irrelevant as story is part of human identity everywhere, and the use of it will be driven by those companies that have found it useful in complex conditions, which is difficult to establish through your single answer questions.

If this doesn't help, then your brain has already filtered it out - so no harm is done.
Yours with a story to tell
Julian Still

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