Diagonal Storytelling

I’m working on the Social Learning design for an organisation today, and thinking about diagonal storytelling. Organisations can tend to be good at vertical stories (usually cascaded down within the formal system), and horizontal stories (often tacit, tribal, flowing out through closed trust networks), but lack really structured and integrated opportunities for diagonal dialogue. This is about cutting through the hierarchy, to create new storytelling, co-creative, and story listening, spaces and opportunities, all of which help the organisation to become more Socially Dynamic.

Diagonal Storytelling

How do they do this? By sharing reality, across the lines. One fascinating aspect of the Landscape of Trust research is an apparent effect of trust flowing horizontally, not vertically, so to build broader, stronger, trust networks, techniques like diagonal storytelling can help to cut through the noise.

In terms of approach, we can use an active Storyteller role, someone tasked to seek out and surface stories, and we can design structured co-creative spaces for those stories to be shared within. For example, asking a diagonal group to write a story about ‘our future competitors’, or ‘how we are innovative’, can surface a variety of views, all of which may fall outside the view of any one individual within the hierarchy.

For diagonal stories to be written, we need to develop strong Social Leadership, so that individuals, at every level, can engage outside their formal power. And so that those same individuals can award social recognition and respect to the people, wherever they sit in the formal system, who contribute the most.

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 Storytelling and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Diagonal Storytelling

  1. Pingback: Stories of Difference | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  2. Pingback: Four Aspects of the Socially Dynamic Organisation | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  3. Pingback: Dimensions of Disruption | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  4. Pingback: Sketch Maps of the Social Age | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  5. Pingback: The Social Leadership Game: Reflections on the Prototype | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  6. Pingback: Humility | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  7. Pingback: Storytelling Session Ideas #WorkingOutLoud | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  8. Pingback: #WorkingOutLoud o Social Leadership Storytelling Certification | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  9. Pingback: The Mechanisms of Storytelling Certification | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  10. Pingback: Social Leadership Storytelling Certification: Technique #1 – Diagonal Storytelling | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  11. Pingback: Engaging Power [4]: Diffusion | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  12. Pingback: To Experiment (Or Not) | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  13. Pingback: ‘The Landscape of Stories’: A Social Leadership ‘Storytelling’ Certification | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.