xix) Stories

Underestimating the importance of stories (see Volume 3), especially when transitional team is trying to influence other people who understandably default to their self-interest.

"...They are either contented in their little world or apathetic, frustrated and secretly cynical about you and your goals. When you offer a story that helps them feel curious again and helps them make sense of the confusion, they will listen. If you can help people better understand what is going on, understand the plot......and their role in it, they will follow. Once they believe in your story they may even start to lead the way. A story can transform the impotent and hopeless into a band of evangelists ready to spread the word......in other words.....using story to replace the old strategic plan's goals/objectives/strategy format..."

Annette Simmons, 2002

For example, Martin Luther King, in his famous speech in Washington D.C. during the civil rights movement, did not say "I have a strategic plan". Instead, he shouted, "I have a DREAM!" and he created a crusade. This speech was used to inspire generations of African-Americans to remember to change their story from "I have been oppressed" to "I have a dream". His dream was a story. Furthermore, Winston Churchill used the metaphor of an "iron curtain" to remind Americans who didn't want to get involved that they might be at risk if they ignored events in Europe

. Not realising that teams can have a strong ability to induce group think and conformity, ie

"...cast-iron norms emerge about what is discussed and how, about the level of challenge accepted and the amount of ingratiation expected. These norms are held in place by the superglue of small rituals - patterns of seating, of post-meeting chat, of connections and contacts, of history and shared experience......Teams prove to be dazzlingly effective at coercion and control. Most......teams were dominated by one or two individuals. Teams were ruled by agendas that stifle discussion more effectively than any hierarchy could. Meetings were commonly long and boring..."

Amanda Sinclair, 2004


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