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.