This book is the story of how four busy executives, from different backgrounds and different perspectives, were surprised to find themselves converging on the idea of narrative as an extraordinarily valuable lens for understanding and managing organizations in the twenty-first century. The idea that narrative and storytelling could be so powerful a tool in the world of organizations was initially counter-intuitive. But in their own words, John Seely Brown, Steve Denning, Katalina Groh, and Larry Prusak describe how they came to see the power of narrative and storytelling in their own experience working on knowledge management, change management, and innovation strategies in organizations such as Xerox, the World Bank, and IBM.
Storytelling in Organizations lays out for the first time why narrative and storytelling should be part of the mainstream of organizational and management thinking. This case has not been made before. The tone of the book is also unique. The engagingly personal and idiosyncratic tone comes from a set of presentations made at a Smithsonian symposium on storytelling in April 2001. Reading it is as stimulating as spending an evening with Larry Prusak or John Seely Brown. The prose is probing, playful, provocative, insightful and sometime profound. It combines the liveliness and freshness of spoken English with the legibility of a ready-friendly text. Interviews will all the authors done in 2004 add a new dimension to the material, allowing the authors to reflect on their ideas and clarify points or highlight ideas that may have changed or deepened over time.
* Brings together well-known thought leaders on the importance of narrative and storytelling for organizational success
* The book's easy to read, engaging style of storytelling makes you feel part of the conversation
* Only book that includes personal stories and perspectives from Larry Prusak and John Seely Brown
"Storytelling In Organizations is brain food for managers who want to ascend to leadership positions. Melding four different perspectives, the authors make a compelling case to become a more relevant, powerful, and memorable communicator. By the time you finish the book you will be thinking differently and running to a mirror to practice, practice, practice." -- Jim Hatherley, author of 'Daring To Be Different, A Manager's Ascent To Leadership' "Story telling is increasingly recognized as central to organizational life. This book draws on the expertise of four thought leaders in this area to help us all understand the role of narative and ways that we can best leverage stories in our own organizations. It is a must read for those looking for more effective approaches to knowledge sharing and transfer, large-scale change, employee socialization and leadership." -- Rob Cross, Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Virginia and Author of The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations "The authors weave a fascinating tale, one that took place at the Smithsonian and resulted in the unexpected- the lawyer, the film director, the scientist, and the historian all agreeing on the power of narrative and storytelling to compel people, as well as the organizations they manage, to change. I would highly recommend this to anyone dealing with the issue of organizational change." -- Bruno Laporte, Manager, Knowledge and Learning, The Worldbank "At the heart of Product Development are our consumers' stories of unmet needs and desires. In R&D, we utilize these stories to inspire breakthrough technical innovations and delightful new products that resonate with our consumers in their journeys toward "happily ever after." This book provides wonderful tools to spark and leverage storytelling functionally and organizational to create collaborative work environments and authentic visions of what's possible." -- Dr Jamesina A. Fitzgerald, VP Global Oral Care Manager & Scientist, Procter & Gamble "Storytelling is the single most effective way to communicate a change in an organization. Through stories, people visualize events, understand concepts and engage both their hearts and minds. Vision and mission statements people read, walk out of a room, and two days later cannot remember. But tell them a story and they will not only remember, they will repeat it." -- Stacy McCarthy, Director, Marketing and Strategy and Customer Communications, The Boeing Company "In a world where all aspects of life are more integrated than ever a leaders' ability to connect with people is more critical than ever. We can no longer solely rely on connectedness through geography, culture or country, The sort of "automatic" connecting we were spoiled with. There are simply too many choices, too much change and too many ways of going your own way to blindly just do what you are told. Rather leadership today must connect with the deeper meaning that exists in every human soul. Storytelling in general and the authors in this book in particular, offers inspiring insights into the art and rewards of telling a story." -- Mats Lederhausen, Managing Director, McDonald's Ventures, McDonald's Corporation President Business Development "...lays out for the first time why narrative and storytelling should be part of the mainstream of organizational and management thinking." - Journal for Quality & Participation