Life has become something of a blur: from New York to London, briefly home, then back to Austin, London and now on the train home. Two weeks on the road: homeless but not away from my community. In my purely social spaces, like Facebook, i curate and share my photos, my story. Micro narratives, photo albums, reflections, nonsense. In my formal spaces (if such a thing exists), i share my reflections, every day, as i #workoutloud.
But these are not the only stories i write: on other platforms i co-create stories, the narrative of the community. Co-Creation is about sense making, within communities: it’s about curating content, contextualising it, interpreting it, sharing it. These co-created stories sit at the heart of a Social Learning and Social Leadership approach.
It happens spontaneously, but we can also engineer it into the learning design, with a Scaffolded approach. It’s a design methodology that mixes formal elements of learning with co-creative spaces, allowing both the organisation to tell it’s own story and individuals within communities to co-create theirs.
I’m working on a project right now that utilises stories in the design: each week every individual write their own story of change, then, as a group, we create a magazine of co-created stories, publishing them on a Friday. Each cohort writes it’s own magazine: one narrative structure, but each subsequent group populates it with their content. And each can read what the previous groups wrote: so it’s iterative, truly tied into the tacit and implicit knowledge of the tribe.
Best of all, at the third level of narrative, the organisational one, we can read all those stories of the cohorts and build a meta narrative, a story through the stories: it’s the ground truth of the organisation, what your community really thinks. It’s market intelligence from your own organisation.
Stories are powerful vessels to find, create and share our meaning. Handle with care.