Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Stories top/down and bottom/up

I continued digging around Dave Snowden's Cognitive Edge blog and site and found some articles that flesh out his ideas on using narrative as a change and measurement tool.

An article worth reading - Narrative Patterns:the perils and possibilities of using story in organisations. Dave describes methods for encouraging change through story-telling and ways to mitigate the development of stories that undermine the desired change.

Between this article and the MSC article - I came up with a really simplistic understanding of the power of stories:

- Develop stories told by the top(executives) to the bottom(staff): to create change

- Collect Stories told by the bottom(staff) to each other: to measure change (notice I didn't say executives - since they will probably get another version that wouldn't be as accurate)

Of course, collecting staff stories presumes that the executives understand what they are hearing - if they are listening in the first place.

Is an anthropological approach the right one to take when trying to measure the intangible success of a training program?

Picture: Dance of the Black Tailed Deer from Northwestern University's Edward S. Curtis collection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I se you are an Edward Curtis fan. CHeck out The Indian Picture Opera, on Amazon. It's Curtis in motion picture.