Layers of Storytelling

I’ve spent two days working with different organisations around Jersey, exploring how they can get fit for the Social Age: there are common themes. The need for agility, the need to transform culture, the need to drive change.

Layers of Stories

But change is elusive: not because it’s hard, but because it’s everywhere. Knowing where to start can be impossible. So why not start with a story?

I’ve talked before about layers of narrative: the three layers of storytelling within organisations.

First: personal narrative. This is the individual’s story of change. It may be a journal, a diary, a video blog, but it’s about the narrative of personal challenge and experience of change. It’s about how this week is different from last week, and what we expect to change next week. For me, the blog is my personal narrative. It’s where i #WorkOutLoud and share my story.

The location of stories

Secondly: . Within an organisation, this is what happens within our communities. It’s where the ‘sense making‘ happens, where the cut and thrust of debate plays out. The co-created narrative is where opinion is formed and where communities of change gather their momentum. I’ve been exploring ways to capture this recently, the most exciting of which is through co-created magazines, where individual groups write their stories around a set structure. We can gather these magazines from around the organisation: common structure, but the articles written by each team. Then we can read them all, and construct the meta narrative: what are the common themes, where does the difference lie.

The Organisational Narrative is the cumulation of the individual and co-created, interpreted and contextualised by the organisation. In the Social Age, the organisations shouldn’t write the narrative and send it down to people: rather the organisation should listen to the teams and write the story from that

Storytelling is powerful: it’s about finding our voices and created a continuous narrative around learning and around change. By providing a structure, we can better facilitate that process.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
This entry was posted in Stories, Storytelling and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Layers of Storytelling

  1. Pingback: Layers of Storytelling | Elearning, learning, ...

  2. Like the thinking through from personal stories to gathering the themes which can then inform necessary change. I’m currently working as a ‘patient expert’ for the Coalition for Collaborative Care (C4CC) & try & tailor my stories to different healthcare audiences to get maximum impact.

    I find your framework very helpful to guide my thought processes when preparing to present my stories & see how it can inform at the strategic level too. Thank you.

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